Don't play the bottom guessing game


It's been funny over the the past week watching various analysts, gurus, journalists and economists weighing in on whether now is the time to get back in the stock market. With the Dow and S&P at a one-month high, the technical analysts are out in force combing their charts for patterns of historical behavior. Is this a false dawn, the setup to an even bigger fall? Or should we call "bottom," even if that means technically we missed it by about four weeks?

I say "funny" because everyone knows it's virtually impossible to time the market, and that doesn't change just because it's lost nearly half its value in 18 months. A perfect example of the conflicting passions and neurosis currently at work came last Thursday.