Does selling in May until St Ledger day really work?


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The old city adage dates back to a time when the City decamped to the country over the summer months, but can it still work for investors today? Well we think we have the answer. St Ledger’s day race is on September 12th, it dates back to 1776, and marked the end of a summer…


The ‘Sell in May’ adage also isn’t helped by the inconsistencies of when to buy back in: in the USA, the time to buy is said to be after Halloween, i.e. up to six weeks later than in the UK.

If ‘Sell in May’ was reliable, then its success as an indicator would lead to its own demise: the logical approach to take for those who believed in the saying would be to beat the rush and to sell in April instead. Once enough investors followed suit, the adage would be transformed into ‘Sell in April’, etc. and repeat thereafter.


The same story comes up about this every year. I think it’s in part the history of the thing, and in part a lack of news in the holiday season.

Having said that. I always end up reading it so it catches my interest.