Where We Are (and One Thing to Watch For)

I haven’t written a lot lately.  Mostly I guess because there doesn’t seem to be a lot new to say.  As you can see in Figure 1, the major market indexes are in an uptrend.  All 4 (Dow, S&P 500, Russell 2000 and Nasdaq 100) are above their respective 200-day MA’s and all but Russell 2000 have made new all-time highs.

Figure 1 – 4 Major Market Indexes (Courtesy WinWayCharts)

As you can see in Figure 2, my market “bellwethers” are still slightly mixed.  Semiconductors are above their 200-day MA and have broken out to a new high, Transports and the Value Line Index (a broad measure of the stock market) are holding above their 200-day MA’s but are well off all-time highs, and the inverse VIX ETF ticker ZIV is in a downtrend (ideally it should trend higher with the overall stock market).

Figure 2 – Jay’s 4 Market “Bellwethers” (Courtesy WinWayCharts)

As you can see in Figure 3, Gold, Bonds and the U.S. Dollar are still holding in uptrends above their respective 200-day MA’s (although all have backed off of recent highs) and crude oil is sort of “nowhere”.

Figure 3 – Gold, Bonds, U.S. Dollar and Crude Oil (Courtesy WinWayCharts)

Like I said, nothing has really changed.  So, at this point the real battle is that age-old conundrum of “Patience versus Complacency”.  When the overall trend is clearly “Up” typically the best thing to do is essentially “nothing” (assuming you are already invested in the market).  At the same time, the danger of extrapolating the current “good times” ad infinitum into the future always lurks nearby.

What we don’t want to see is:

*The major market averages breaking back down below their 200-day MA’s.

What we would like to see is:

*The Transports and the Value Line Index break out to new highs (this would be bullish confirmation rather the current potentially bearish divergence)

The Importance of New Highs in the Value Line Index

One development that would provide bullish confirmation for the stock market would be if the Value Line Geometric Index were to rally to a new 12-month high.  It tends to be a bullish sign when this index reaches a new 12-month high after not having done so for at least 12-months.

Figure 4 displays the cumulative growth for the index for all trading days within 18 months of the first 12-month new high after at least 12-months without one.

Figure 4 – Cumulative growth for Value Line Geometric Index within 18-months of a new 12-month high

Figure 5 displays the cumulative growth for the index for all other trading days.

Figure 5 – Cumulative growth for Value Line Geometric Index during all other trading days

In Figure 4 we see that a bullish development (the first 12-month new high in at least 12 months) is typically followed by more bullish developments. In Figure 5 we see that all other trading days essentially amount to nothing.

Figure 6 displays the Value Line Geometric Index with the relevant new highs highlighted.

Figure 6 – Value Line Geometric Index (Courtesy WinWayCharts)

Summary

The trend at this very moment is “Up.”  So sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.  Just don’t ever forget that the ride WILL NOT last forever.  If the Value Line Geometric Index (and also the Russell 2000 and the Dow Transports) joins the party then history suggests the party will be extended.  If they don’t, the party may end sooner than expected.

So pay attention.

Jay Kaeppel

Disclaimer: The information, opinions and ideas expressed herein are for informational and educational purposes only and are based on research conducted and presented solely by the author.  The information presented does not represent the views of the author only and does not constitute a complete description of any investment service.  In addition, nothing presented herein should be construed as investment advice, as an advertisement or offering of investment advisory services, or as an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy any security.  The data presented herein were obtained from various third-party sources.  While the data is believed to be reliable, no representation is made as to, and no responsibility, warranty or liability is accepted for the accuracy or completeness of such information.  International investments are subject to additional risks such as currency fluctuations, political instability and the potential for illiquid markets.  Past performance is no guarantee of future results.  There is risk of loss in all trading.  Back tested performance does not represent actual performance and should not be interpreted as an indication of such performance.  Also, back tested performance results have certain inherent limitations and differs from actual performance because it is achieved with the benefit of hindsight.

Is a Reprieve for Bonds in the Offing?

The question on many investors’ minds is “are we in a bond bear market?”  Given that long-term treasuries have lost roughly 17% since July of 2016 it is a fair question.
The main model that I use is still bearish on bonds (more on this topic below).  Still, there are a few potential “lights at the end of the bond tunnel” – at least potentially in the near-term.
Long-Term Rates
My mega long-term “fail-safe” bond trend indicator appears in Figure 1.  It is the yield on 30 year treasuries (ticker TYX – which is multiplied by 10 for some unknown reason) with a 120-month exponential moving average.
0Figure 1 – 30-Yr. Treasury yields (Ticker TYX) with 120-month average (Courtesy TradingExpert)
When the day comes that TYX breaks out above the 120-month moving average I for one will officially designate the great bond bull market as “over.”  And that day is coming.  But for what it’s worth – it’s not quite here yet.
Metals Positive for Bonds
In this article I wrote about a bond timing model that uses the relationship between gold and copper.  Like a lot of timing models of all stripes it does a good job of differentiating good times for bonds from bad times for bonds, but is very far from perfect.
It goes like this:
A = Gold / Copper
B = 30-day moving average of A
C = 80-day moving average of A
D = B – C
If D > 0 = Bullish for bonds*
If D < 0 = Bearish for bonds*
*- with a 1-day lag
This indicator flipped to bullish at the close on 2/7/18 after being bearish since 7/10/2017.
Figure 2 displays the action of ticker TLT since the last “sell” signal in July 2017.  As you can see, in the end it ended up being “correct” as TLT was lower on 2/7/18 than it was on 7/10/17.  But that was not the case until the last week or so.  So for most of the time during this bearish period TLT traded higher.
1Figure 2 – Ticker TLT with recent Jay’s Metal Model signals (Courtesy TradingExpert)
What is most important however is to focus on the long-term results. In Figure 2 the blue line depicts the growth of equity achieved by holding long 1 t-bond futures contract ONLY when the model is bullish while the red line depicts the growth of equity achieved by holding long 1 t-bonds futures contract ONLY when the model is bearish (red line).
2aFigure 2 – T-bond futures $ gain/loss when Jay’s Metal Model is bullish (blue line) versus when model is bearish (red line)
The long-term difference in performance is fairly obvious.  That being said it should also be noted that the blue line is by no means a series of straight line advances, i.e., there is no guarantee that this latest bullish signal will prove fortuitous, especially given that we may be transitioning from a long-term bond bull market to a long-term bond near market.
One More Possible Piece of Good News
In this article I applied an indicator I originally learned from Tom McClellan at http://www.mcoscillator.com to weekly TLT.  This indicator looks at the number of times TLT has been up minus the number of times down over the past 20 weeks. Very often a drop to -2 or below followed by an upside reversal of 2 points (i.e., it drops to -2 then subsequently rises to 0, or drops to -3 then rises to -1 and so on) has presaged a favorable up move in bonds. This indicator applied to TLT recently fell to -2 and may flash a favorable signal soon (please note that it HAS NOT given a buy signal yet and that it  could take several weeks before it does).
3Figure 3 – Weekly TLT with UpDays20 Indicator (Courtesy TradingExpert)
One Piece of “Still Bad News”
In this article I wrote about one of the main bond models I use that uses the trend in Japanese stocks to trade bonds inversely, i.e., if Japanese stocks are bearish it is bullish for bonds and vice versa. I use a 5-week and 30-week moving average to quantify Japanese stocks as “bullish” or “bearish”.
In Figure 4 when the blue line in the top clip is above the red line this is considered bearish for bonds and when the blue line is below the red line it is considered bullish for bonds. For now the blue 5-week average line is still well above the red 30-week average, so this indicator still  designates the trend for bonds as “bearish”.
4aFigure 4 – Ticker TLT tends to trade inversely to ticker EWJ (Courtesy TradingExpert)
Summary
So are bonds due to rally?  Well, it seems like at least a short-term bounce could be in the offing.  That being said, with bonds breaking down sharply at the moment, 1) this “idea” is geared for “traders” who are not afraid of (and are unacquainted with) taking risks, 2) it might make sense to wait for the UpDays20 indicator discussed above to tick higher by two points – which could take up to several weeks to play out – before “taking the plunge.”
As always I am not “recommending” anything, just highlighting what I see.  For longer-term investors the “Boring Bond Index” bond strategy I wrote about here remains a viable  long-term approach to bond investing.
Jay Kaeppel
Disclaimer:  The data presented herein were obtained from various third-party sources.  While I believe the data to be reliable, no representation is made as to, and no responsibility, warranty or liability is accepted for the accuracy or completeness of such information.  The information, opinions and ideas expressed herein are for informational and educational purposes only and do not constitute and should not be construed as investment advice, an advertisement or offering of investment advisory services, or an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy any security.

What to Worry About – and When – in the Bond Market

There is a lot of hand-wringing going on these days regarding the bond market.  And rightly so given that interest rates have been (were?) in a downtrend for 35+ years.  Given that, given the long-term cyclical nature of interest rates and given that rates are at a generational low level, “concern” is understandable.
However, needless hand-wringing over events that have yet to occur is not.
rates long-term
Figure 1 – Long-term treasury yields through the years (Courtesy: ObservationsanNotes.blogspot.com)
(The chart in Figure 1 is updated only through about 2012.  Nevertheless, it effectively highlight the long-term cyclical nature of interest rates.)
The problem is the “well, interest rates are destined to rise therefore I should immediately [fill in your defensive action here].”
Many analysts and investors are following and attempting to interpret every tick in bond yields.  In fact, some very well known bond “people” have proclaimed a “bond bear market”.  And they may be right.  But still…
What I Follow in the Bond Market
What follows are a few random thoughts on some of the things I look at when tracking the bond market.
#1. 30-Year Yield versus 120-month Exponential Moving Average
Figure 2 displays ticker TYX, an index which tracks the yields on 30-year bonds (for some reason it multiplies by 10 – so a yield of 3% appears on the chart as 30.00).
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Figure 2 – 30-year treasury yields versus 120-month exponential moving average (Courtesy TradingExpert)
Using the data from Figure 1 I have found that a 120-month (i.e., 10-year) average does a pretty good job of riding the major trends in interest rates.  As you can clearly see in Figure 2, TYX is still noticeably below its 120-month EMA.  This could obviously change quickly but  for the moment by this objective measure the long-term trend in interest rates right at this very moment is still “down.”
Please note that I am not saying that interest rates will not rise and move above this MA.  I am saying two things:
1. Until the crossover occurs try not to focus too much attention on dire predictions.
2. Once the crossover does occur the bond market environment that most of us have known throughout all or most of our investment lives will change dramatically (more on this topic when the time is right).
#2.  The Yield Curve(s)
Figure 3 displays the yield curves for 30-year yields minus 10-year yields and 10-year yields minus 2-year yields. The narrowing trend is obvious. This is causing great consternation because historically when the yield curve “inverts” (i.e., when shorter-term rates are higher than longer-term rates) it is a very bad sign for the economy and the financial markets.
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Figure 3 – 10-yr yield minus 2-year yield (blue) and 30-year yield minus 10-year yield (orange); (Courtesy: YCharts)
The problem here is that there is still an important difference between “narrowing” and actual “inverting”.  Many people seems to look at Figure 3 and assume that an inverted yield curve (i.e., if and when these lines go into negative territory) is “inevitable” and that things are therefore doomed to get worse for the economy and the markets.
Repeating now: There is still an important difference between a “narrowing” yield curve and an actual “inverted” yield curve.  Until the yield curve actually does invert try not to focus too much attention on dire predictions.
#3. The Current Trend in Bonds
One trend following indicator that I follow (and have written about in the past) is the inverse relationship between long-term t-bonds and Japanese stocks.  Figure 4 display ticker EWJ (an ETF that tracks an index of Japanese stocks) versus ticker TLT (an ETF that tracks the long-term treasury bond).
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Figure 4 – Ticker EWJ versus Ticker TLT (Courtesy TradingExpert)
Figure 5 displays two equity curves.  The blue line represents the $ gain achieved by holding long 1 treasury bond futures contract ONLY when the EWJ 5-week moving average is below the EWJ 30-wek moving average and the red line represents the $ loss achieved by holding long 1 treasury bond futures contract ONLY when the EWJ 5-week moving average is above the EWJ 30-week moving average.
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Figure 5 – Holding long t-bond futures when EWJ is in a downtrend (blue line) versus holding long t-bond futures when EWJ is in an uptrend (red line); December 2003-present
Notice anything different about  the blue line versus the red line?  With EWJ trending strongly higher, caution remains in order or the long-term treasury bond. If the trend in EWJ reverses things may look better for long-term bonds.
#4. Short and Intermediate Term Bonds remain a Viable Alternative
As I wrote about here an index of short and intermediate treasury and high grade corporate remains a viable long-term approach for income investors. Figure 6 displays the growth of $1,000 invested using the “Boring Bond Index” I wrote about in the aforementioned article.  This index has gained in 38 of the past 42 years.6
Figure 6 – Growth of $1,000 invested using “Boring Bond Index” Method; 12/31/1975-11/30/2017
Summary
There are good reasons to be wary of interest rates and bonds. At the same time overreacting to dire headlines also remains a very poor approach to investing.
So in sum:
*The very long-term trend in interest rate is still technically “down”
*The yield curve is narrowing but still has a ways to go before it inverts
*The current trend in long-term bonds is bearish
*Short and intermediate term bonds experience much less volatility than long-term bonds (and reinvest more frequently, which may come in handy if rates do begin to  rise in earnest).
*If and when TYX pierces its long-term average and/or when the yield curve inverts, the time will arrive for investors to make some wholesale changes in how they approach their bond market investments.
*If and when EWJ starts to fall, things may improve for the current plight of the long-term treasury.
*And through it all, a boring approach to bonds may still prove very useful.
Jay Kaeppel
Disclaimer:  The data presented herein were obtained from various third-party sources.  While I believe the data to be reliable, no representation is made as to, and no responsibility, warranty or liability is accepted for the accuracy or completeness of such information.  The information, opinions and ideas expressed herein are for informational and educational purposes only and do not constitute and should not be construed as investment advice, an advertisement or offering of investment advisory services, or an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy any security.

A Focus on the Trends in Stocks, Bonds and Gold

In the end it is not so much about “predicting” what will happen next in the financial markets, but rather recognizing – and being prepared for – the potential risks, that makes the most difference in the long run.  So let’s start by looking at current trends.
Stocks
Let’s start with a most simple trend-following model that works like this:
-A sell signal occurs when the S&P 500 Index (SPX) registers two consecutive monthly closes below its 21-month moving average
-After a sell signal, a buy signal occurs when SPX register a single monthly close above its 10-month moving average.
Figure 1 displays recent activity.
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Figure 1 – SPX Trend-Following signals (Courtesy WinWayCharts)
The good news is that this model does a good job of being out of stocks during long bear markets (1973-74, 2000-2002, 2008-2009).  The bad news is that – like any trend-following model – it gets “whipsawed” from time to time.  In fact the two most recent signals resulted in missing out on the October 2015 and March 2016 rallies.
But note the use of the phrase “simple trend-following model” and the lack of phrases such as “precision market timing” and “you can’t lose trading the stock market”, etc.
For now the trend is up.  A few things to keep an eye on appear in Figures 2 and 3.  Figure 2 displays four major averages.  Keep an eye to see if these averages break out to the upside (see here) or if they move sideways to lower.
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Figure 2 – Four Major Market Averages (Courtesy WinWayCharts)
In addition, I suggest following the 4 tickers in Figure 3 for potential “early warnings” – i.e., if the major averages hit new highs that are not confirmed by the majority of the tickers in Figure 3
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Figure 3 – Four potential “Early Warning” tickers (Courtesy WinWayCharts)
Bonds
My main “simple bond trend-following model” remains bearish.  As you can see in Figure 4, a buy signal for bonds occurs when the 5-week moving average for ticker EWJ (Japanese stocks) drops below its 30-week moving average and vice versa.
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Figure 4 – Ticker EWJ 5-week and 30-week moving average versus ticker TLT (Courtesy WinWayCharts)
A 2nd model using metals to trade bonds has been bullish of late but is close to dropping back into bearish territory.  Figure 5 displays the P/L from holding a long position of 1 t-bond futures contract ONLY when both the EWJ AND Metals models are bearish (red line) versus when EITHER model is bullish (blue line)
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Figure 5 – T-bond futures $ gain/loss when EWJ OR Metals Models are Bullish (blue line) versus when EWJ AND Metals Models are both Bearish (red line); August 1990-present
Gold
My most basic gold trend-following model is still bearish.  This model uses my “Anti-Gold Index” (comprised of tickers GLL, SPX, UUP and YCS).  It is bullish for gold when a Front-Weighted Moving Average (detailed here) is below the 55-week exponential moving average and vice versa.
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Figure 6 – Jay’s “Anti-Gold Index” versus ticker GLD (Courtesy WinWayCharts)
Summary
So at the moment the stock model is bullish and the bond and gold models are bearish.  Are these trends certain to persist ad infinitum into the future?  Definitely not.  Will the models detailed here provide timely signals regarding when to get in or out the next time around?  Sorry, but it doesn’t always work that way with trend-following.
But as for me I prefer “riding the trend” to “predicting the future.”
Some painful lessons just stick with you I guess.
Jay Kaeppel  Chief Market Analyst at JayOnTheMarkets.com and TradingExpert Pro client. 
Disclaimer:  The data presented herein were obtained from various third-party sources.  While I believe the data to be reliable, no representation is made as to, and no responsibility, warranty or liability is accepted for the accuracy or completeness of such information.  The information, opinions and ideas expressed herein are for informational and educational purposes only and do not constitute and should not be construed as investment advice, an advertisement or offering of investment advisory services, or an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy any security.

It’s Soon or Never for Bonds

There is great trepidation in the bond market these days. Most investors seem to have the “interest rates are sure to rise” mantra playing on auto loop in their head.  And this is not entirely unwarranted.  Given the historical tendency for bond yields to move in long, slow trends (20 years or more essentially in one direction is not uncommon), I for one am pretty confident in believing that interest rates will be higher 20 years from now than they are now.

But that is not the fear that is playing in people’s heads. The fear in people’s heads is that rates are rising soon (like immediately) and in a big way.  This however, may or may not prove to be the case.
Figure 1 displays a history of 10-year treasury yields through about 2012 (FYI 10-yr. yields are roughly in changed since that time).  Note the long-term nature of interest rate trends and that while there are “spikes” here and there, most major moves play out over time and not in “here today, sharply higher tomorrow” fashion.
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Figure 1 – 10-year treasury bond yields; 1900-2012(Courtesy: ObservationsandNotes.blogspot.com)
Also, you can see in Figure 2 – one can make a compelling argument that bond yields are not “officially rising”, at least not yet.
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Figure 2 – Yields still “officially” in a downtrend
Bonds are Due to Bounce – But Will They?
One way to identify important turning points in any market is when a market doesn’t do something that it would normally be expected to do.  For example, here is a simple thought process:
1) The bond market is oversold
2) In the past 30 years, pretty much anytime it would get oversold a rally ensued
3) Therefore, bonds should rally soon
But will they – that is the question.  And in my opinion, the answer is important.
*If bonds rally soon (i.e., over the course of say the next several months) then “the status may still be quo”.
*If bonds do not rally soon, then it may be a sign that “things are changing”
Which Way Bonds?
Figures 3 and 4 below display ticker TLT (an ETF that tracks the long-term treasury bond) with an indicator I call UpDays20.  In this case we are looking at weekly bars and not daily bars, but the concept is the same.
UpDays20 is calculated by simply adding up all of the weeks that have showed a weekly gain over the past 20 weeks and then subtracting 10 (the WinWay Charts Expert Design Studio code appears at the end of this article, after the disclaimer).
If 10 of the past 20 weeks have showed a weekly gain then the upDays20 indicator will read 0 (i.e., a total of 10 weeks were up minus 10 = 0).  If only 6 weeks showed a gain in the past 20 weeks then the UpDays20 indicator will read -4, etc.
What to look for: Typically (at least in the declining rate environment of recent decades) when UpDays20 rises by a value of 2 from a low of -2 or less, a decent rally in bonds has ensued.
For example, if UpDays20 falls to -4 then a rise to -2 or higher triggers a buy signal.  If it falls only as low as -3 then a rise to -1 or higher is required.  If it falls only as low as -2 then a rise to 0 or higher is required.
Figures 3 and 4 highlight signals since roughly 2004.
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Figure 3 – Ticker TLT with UpDays20 weekly buy signals (2004-2010); (Courtesy WinWay TradingExpert )
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Figure 4 – Ticker TLT with UpDays20 weekly buy signals (2010-2017); (Courtesy  WinWay TradingExpert )
As you can see in Figures 3 and 4, most of the signals highlighted were followed by at least a decent short-term rally.
In 2017, buy signals from the UpDays20 indicator occurred on 1/13 and 4/14.  TLT is up +0.3% since the 1/13 signal and down -1.4% since the 4/14 signal.
Summary
Either:
1) This is an excellent time to buy the long-term bond (looking for at least a short to intermediate term rally) as a rally is overdue
OR
2) The “times they may be a changing” for bonds
So keep an eye on TLT over the next several months.
Jay Kaeppel
Disclaimer:  The data presented herein were obtained from various third-party sources.  While I believe the data to be reliable, no representation is made as to, and no responsibility, warranty or liability is accepted for the accuracy or completeness of such information.  The information, opinions and ideas expressed herein are for informational and educational purposes only and do not constitute and should not be construed as investment advice, an advertisement or offering of investment advisory services, or an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy any security.
WinWay TradingExpert Expert Design Studio Code for UpDays20
Up1 if [close] > val([close],1).
Up2 if val([close],1) > val([close],2).
Up3 if val([close],2) > val([close],3).
Up4 if val([close],3) > val([close],4).
Up5 if val([close],4) > val([close],5).
Up6 if val([close],5) > val([close],6).
Up7 if val([close],6) > val([close],7).
Up8 if val([close],7) > val([close],8).
Up9 if val([close],8) > val([close],9).
Up10 if val([close],9) > val([close],10).
Up11 if val([close],10) > val([close],11).
Up12 if val([close],11) > val([close],12).
Up13 if val([close],12) > val([close],13).
Up14 if val([close],13) > val([close],14).
Up15 if val([close],14) > val([close],15).
Up16 if val([close],15) > val([close],16).
Up17 if val([close],16) > val([close],17).
Up18 if val([close],17) > val([close],18).
Up19 if val([close],18) > val([close],19).
Up20 if val([close],19) > val([close],20).
UpCount is (Up1+ Up2+Up3+Up4+Up5+Up6+Up7+Up8+Up9+Up10+Up11+Up12+Up13+Up14+Up15+Up16+Up17+Up18+Up19+Up20)-10.
You can also download the EDS file for this at this link http://aiqsystems.com/Its_Soon_or_Never_for_Bonds.EDS

The One Asset Class Per Month Strategy

If you have read any of my stuff in the past then you probably know that I spend a lot of time trying to determine “what goes up (or down) when”.  What follows are the results of one such test.
While the results are initially impressive on the face of it (if I do so say myself, and I think I just did) there are a number of important caveats. To put it another way, do NOT be impressed with the results WITHOUT first seriously considering some of the significant caveats mentioned below.  To put it in the most standard terms possible – past results DO NOT guarantee future results.
The Test
*I looked at variety of assets classes (listed at the end of the article) using mutual fund data and/or index data from January 1993 through April 2007.  The data was monthly total return data from Callan Associates.
*I’ve created my own proprietary formula for measuring performance during a specific month.  The factors include: average monthly return, median monthly return, standard deviation, largest monthly decline and a variety of ratios amongst these factors (but I am a lot of fun at parties.  No seriously.)
*I used my proprietary formula to rank performance for each asset class for each month and took my “top pick”.  In a nutshell, the “top pick” is not the one that showed the largest average monthly gain but the one that showed the best tradeoff between risk and reward.
*I ran a backtest using mutual fund and/or index data for the top ranked asset for each month from January 1993 through May 2007. The results for Jay’s One Asset Class per Month strategy (heretofore JOAC) appear in Figure 1.
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Figure 1 – Equity Curve for Jay’s One Asset Class per Month Strategy; 12/31/92-5/31/2007
The average 12-month return was +17.8% and the maximum drawdown (using month-end data) was -12.7%
While the results look good it is now time for those dreaded “caveats”:
*These results could not be exactly duplicated in real trading for a couple of reasons: First, some of the results were generated using index data and not mutual fund data.
*Also, many of the mutual funds used in the test (particularly Vanguard and Fidelity funds) cannot be traded one month at a time.  Most have a minimum holding period of 30 to 90 calendar days).  So buying in one month and selling out the next would likely result in fees and/or future trading restrictions.
Moving Forward JOAC using ETFs
ETFs have no switching restrictions so starting in May 2007 I switched to an all ETF portfolio, using a particular ETF each month to attempt to track the top asset class for that month.  That portfolio appears in Figure 2. 
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Figure 2 – JOAC monthly ETF Portfolio
*-MUB traded in May 2007-2010; HYMB traded in May starting in 2011
Once again using monthly total  return data from Callan Associates I tested the 2007-2016 period using the tickers listed in Figure 2.  The results appear in Figure 3.
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Figure 3 – Equity Curve for Jay’s One Asset Class per Month Strategy; 5/31/2007-10/31/2016
*The average annual gain starting in 2008 (the 1st full year of data) is +25.8%
*The maximum drawdown (using monthly data) is -11%.
Annual results in appear in Figure 4.  These results do not include any transaction fees
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Figure 4 – JOAC ETF Strategy Annual Results
*May 31st/2007-12/31/2007
So is this the greatest thing since sliced bread?  Probably not.  Why not? Time for more of those pesky caveats:
*Buying and holding only one ETF per month does not offer a lot of diversification (or any diversification at all for that matter)
*The test period using ETFs is relatively short
*Intramonth volatility and drawdowns will undoubtedly be greater than what appears in the Figures above
This strategy fits squarely in the “(almost certainly) high risk, (potentially) high reward” category.
Summary
So as I stated earlier, no one should assume that they can just start buying the ETFs listed above and start making 25% a year ad infinitum into the future.  The results displayed in this article should probably be thought of more as a starting point for further analysis rather than a finished product.
In essence, the real point is that – as with all things – there is a time and a place or everything, including (apparently) asset classes.
Jay Kaeppe
Chief Market Analyst at JayOnTheMarkets.com and TradingExpert Pro (http://www.winwaycharts.com) client

 
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