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"I am reminded of Buffett's ? remark that he was glad so many people were convinced that beating indices is impossible, it's easier to win when the others are not even trying"

To think timing the market doesn't work doesn't mean you don't think you can beat the indices.

The vast amount of investing going on in the market is short term thinking. I think this provides a natural advantage to long term investors, who can evaluate companies and buy good businesses according to their growth or value perspectives.

I think there are 2 problems with timing. The first is that it is really hard to get it right. The market waits until everyone who thought a bear market is coming, finally gives up, before it actually goes off a cliff :)

I think the second is that timing is where the individual investor has a real disadvantage against professionals. Professionals can get information and buy tools that help them get an advantage in timing - we can't beat them. But understanding an underlying business is a bit more democratic - most of the info is public, and so is a lot of analysis - or at least cheap enough to afford, like the Fool.

So I would say that just because I don't think I can successfully time the market doesn't mean I think I can't beat the indices - in fact with the help of the Fool, I have been doing so for a long time.

Now saying that, it doesn't mean I can hedge my bets when the weather looks cloudy. I have lots of cash on hand right now, am writing covered calls on positions I think have overgrown themselves a bit.

I really like your comment: "If buying more than one stock is tactical diversification, doing timing with some of your investing is strategic diversification", if by timing you mean, keep cash on hand
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