The One Minute Millionaire Diamond Mine
 The Wealth Factor
 Stock Market Strategies
 By Dr. Stephen Cooper

What October Surprise?

In some circles, the discussion of Ronald Reagan stealing the 1980 presidential election is still alive. Perhaps you remember the scenario. I’ll copy just a bit of a Newsweek article written 11 years after the alleged scandal.

— Prediction by Newsweek correspondent, Eleanor Clift, on the NBC television talk show, The McLaughlin Group, on May 12, 1991:

For regular readers of this magazine, there is little that is new in the current flurry of American media reports on the "October Surprise" of 1980, other than the fact that Gary Sick, a retired career Navy officer and a National Security Council Middle East Adviser in President Jimmy Carter’s White House, now is writing a book on the subject. His article in the April 15 New York Times, and a one-hour sympathetic examination of the evidence on PBS’s Front Line, shown nationwide on April 16, left little doubt among open-minded readers and viewers that Ronald Reagan campaign officials promised ARMs and money to Iran to delay release of 52 American hostages until after the Nov. 4, 1980 presidential election.

Some may continue to debate the merits of this argument for years into the future. Frankly, I don’t much care about the debate.

But, I do care about this!

There is a nice little surprise that happens in the stock market most every October that few people even know about. The nice thing about this surprise is that it can make you money!

There is a tendency for the market–more specifically the Dow Jones Industrial Average–to retreat over the summer months and into September. Historically, October is the breeding ground for new market rallies. In fact, statistically most of the DOW gains happen from October to the late spring or early summer of the year. The first chart I’ll show you is an example of the October Surprise for last year, 2002.

Had you simply bought the DOW in October and held until late spring or early summer, you would have enjoyed an increase of over 2,000 points–that, my friend, is significant.

Just how significant is it? Well, let’s see what would have happened if we just bought the DOW, and held it for one calendar year instead of the 8 months shown here. Being that we sold in June, we’ll measure our calendar year from June 2002 to June 2003.

Get ready . . . here comes the surprise!

The following chart will show a full one-year time period. That year’s worth of market activity is between the two vertical blue lines.

The idea that simply holding stocks or mutual funds for more time will give better returns is clearly not correct. Timing is not only important, but critical to achieving the best results. This might be of some comfort to those who have a lot fewer years left to retirement than they once did.

If you are in your 20s, buying shares of mutual funds and then ignoring them for three or four decades will indeed render good results in terms of appreciation, provided that you choose the right funds. But, maybe you are no longer in your 20s. Then what do you do to achieve the necessary returns? That’s right–timing.


Dr. Stephen Cooper is the Director of, a training and support Web Site for both beginning and advanced traders. Over the past four years, Dr. Stephen Cooper has been the primary Stock Market Trainer for Mark Victor Hansen and Robert Allen’s Enlightened Millionaire Institute. He has taught thousands of students his proven trading strategies. He is the author of The Online Option Trader, Windows to Wealth, and The Truth About Money. He has also authored 10 interactive chart analysis tutorial CDs and contributed to several newsletters and publications.