If you sold shares in May, buy back in today: HAMISH MCRAE on why the stock market could rise

The St Leger at Doncaster is the oldest classic horse race in the world, and was run yesterday. So how did that old investment adage – sell in May and go away, come back on St Leger’s day – work this year?

Well, if you juggle around a bit with the timing, not too badly in the UK, but dreadfully in the US.

So what’s next?

> Stock market data: FTSE 100, 250, All Share and company share price charts 

Step back a moment. The idea that there is a seasonal lull in share prices through the summer is a long-established one, and there is some supporting data.

April has been a fairly strong month in the past 40 years, according to research on the UK market. May and June have been weak. But July has been generally good, while it is August and September that have been disappointing. 

This year the best time to sell was mid-April, when the FTSE 100 was above 7,900, and as it happens when I wrote about the ‘sell in May’ adage. 

But the time to buy back would have been late August, when the index was languishing below 7,300, rather than waiting until September.

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Source of data and images: dailymail

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