Click here to view the ICI's annual U.S. retirement survey. There are many interesting statistics in this document, but what strikes me is the behavior of retirement investors in 2008 and 2009. Long-term investors they were not! 2009 saw net equity redemptions and bond funds saw huge inflows (at very low rates). Rearview mirror investing?
The problem with market timing is that good decisions must be consistently linked, which no one can do consistently. All investors, whether institutions or high-net-worth individual, should consider their time frame, downside risk tolerance, costs, and prudent diversification. These factors are the enduring principles of investing.