Flagpole, your posts are quickly becoming uninteresting.
You don't seem to be bringing anything to the table from your individual perspective--if indeed you even have one, which is seeming less and less likely.
Even if stocks do "swell"--and of that there is no guarantee--that's not the entire point. The time and point at which you buy are also relevant, as are other options you may have in the interim.
No one should care about how one year goes? That obviously depends on your perspective, and on just exactly how that year goes. You know this. Get your head out of your ass and just acknowledge that not everybody in the world is in your situation. I can pretty much guarantee that I am killing you this year, and I am almost entirely out of the markets.
You have me mistaken for someone who cares how he does in comparison to others. I could not care less if you are beating me this year by being out of the market. That would not be hard to do since YTD the Dow is now down.
Over time markets ALWAYS go up, so yes, while there is no "guarantee" (something I don't look for anyway), unless the world is ending, eventually purchases you make today (if made in a diverse way and doesn't include overly risky things like gold) will go UP.
You refer to market timing. That is not something that I can do, and I maintain that no one on the planet can do that well enough for it to be a viable strategy. People do better when they buy and buy and buy and hold that stuff for the long term instead of jumping in and out of the market.
Unless you are IN retirement or within 5 years of retirement, you should not care too much about a one-year move. AND, if you are IN retirement, while it would be nice to see the market go UP all the time, when it drops, you need to have a plan...draw only from Social Security during that time or plan to have 3 YEARS of liquid assets (that's my plan) so that you can live on that while you give the market time to recover. Or, you could just have a lot of bonds (something I'm more and more against personally).
It is funny to watch the tone of this thread based on the movement of the market. OP comes on here and declares the Dow will drop below 13,000 and then later says he got out at 15,000, so it then rises above 17,000 and everyone and their brother says how stupid the OP is (I wouldn't call him stupid, just employing a risky investment strategy), and then now that the Dow has dropped a bit from that high, we have some points that the OP might be a "genius" and other such noise. Silly. Even though the Dow is down from 17,152 to about 16,400, we are still 1,400 points ABOVE where the OP sold his stuff and 3,400+ points above where he said the market would go...AND it is more than a year later...lots of lost investing dollars and dividends and eventual SWELL of that money down the road.
If we go back to the last spike in 2007 and crash, you can see how happy anyone who had been investing the whole time should be. In October 2007, the Dow hit a then high of 14,100. MOST of 2007, the Dow was in the 13,000s. Anything you bought then is worth more now. Then we started the drop...all the way to Dow 6,400...10,000 points below where we are today! If you made regular purchases then (as I did) at 6,400, 6,800, 7,000, 8,000, 9,000 and so on, those purchases are ALL worth a lot more now. You can not time the market. Once in a great while someone gets lucky and makes ONE out and then back in decision, but if you employ that strategy again and again, you will lose...stats say so.
It really is THIS SIMPLE:
1) Buy stocks in retirement accounts (funds) when you are in a position to do so...you have a job, you have little to no other debt. Keep buying until you either can't due to increased debt or you are in retirement.
2) In retirement, make sure to be more conservatively invested...EITHER more bonds or more income funds or make sure to have 3 YEARS or more of liquid assets that are not in stocks so that you can live on that if you need to let the market recover.
Trying to time, jumping in and out of the market...just not a good plan at all.