“Sell in May and Go Away!”

May 28, 2020 | Gerry Doyle


The saying is said to have originated as an old English phrase that referred to “how merchants and bankers would flee the hot city for the more comfortable summer months in the country”.  The meaning behind the saying was that during the summer months various informal gatherings would occur amongst the business people in a relaxed atmosphere.  Although few decisions would be made and even fewer actions taken, this was a period of reflection on the past year.  It was also a time to create an action plan that would be launched following Labour Day.


Although we have air conditioning in today’s modern world, there are still many economists who believe the “saying” is still true.  Some analysts even chart the stock index against the calendar as proof that there is a correlation.  As with so many predictors, it is a bit of a “hit and miss” game. 


Having been hit with COVID-19, a stock market crash, a stock market rally, and an upside down world … what will this summer look like?


Personally, I suspect there will be much reflection on the events of the past six months and how those events will affect the next year.  Already economic statistics show we have experienced a slowing economy, rising unemployment, and a new way of socializing.  Although the most dire predictions have so far been unfounded, the most optimistic scenarios have yet to unfold.


Perhaps this might be a nice time of year to regroup, catch our breath, and spend some time in nature or at the lake preparing an action plan and strategy for execution after Labour Day?