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Sell in May and go away

Pick a month: making money in the
markets all comes down to timing

Investors looking for silver linings to cloudy markets might care to take note of a new report that backs up the theory that you should "sell in May and go away". Taking a long summer holiday is the best way to avoid the worst downsides of a bear market, says Heydon Traub, managing director of global asset allocation at State Street Global Advisors.

Traub says November to April is the good period and May to October the bad. His research shows that historically nearly all stock market gains have happened in the good period. In the bad period they have been close to zero.

This can partly be explained by the timing of bonus payments and the end of tax years for mutual funds.

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