Active traders will tell you that predicting and acting upon changes in the market cycle is the key to maximizing your returns. Backtesting will easily provide this fact. As everyone already knows, hindsight is rarely wrong. In the forward-looking mechanism that is the current market, you will most likely be crushed by such a strategy. Snake oil salesmen money managers will tell you that you can enjoy the upside and they can get you out of the market before the downturns. The annals of market history are strewn with the corpses of those funds that tried and failed. If professional fund managers that are paid to monitor the markets cannot successfully predict future market ups and downs, what chance do those of us with regular jobs have of divining these secrets on our lunch break?