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Sell in May – the return!

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Regular readers may recall a piece we put together around a year ago when we looked at the old stock market saying “Sell in May and go away, come back on St Leger day”. It was based around the days when City traders would leave London in May, tour Europe for four months and come back in time for the St Leger Horserace.

This year the St Leger is being run on the 10th September. When we last looked at this saying we established that the strategy of selling in May and buying back in September didn’t work in 15 of the last 20 years but could 2023 be one of those years when it was a workable strategy?

Lets have a look at how the main world indices sat on the 1st May this year compared with the 1st September.

The US market has been the stand out performer in 2023. From January 1st this year to the end of August the S&P500 was up 17.8% in 2023, hugely outperforming the ASX (up 4.7%) the NZX50 (down 0.64% for the year) and the FTSE100 (down 1.52% for 2023). So this year looks like selling in May has won by a nose.

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