Quant strategies: 1H 2016 performance

Here are the first half 2016 total return and max drawdown numbers for the various quant strategies I track. For explanations of the various quant strategies see the portfolios page. All equity portfolios consist of 25 stocks and were formed at the end of 2015. No changes in the holdings since that time (except for the TAA Bond strategy). In the table below I list various quant strategies along with their YTD performance and drawdowns. Also, listed are various benchmark indices. Similar to the results for Q1 2016, overall the first half of 2016 is working quite well for the various quant … Continue reading

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Tactical asset allocation – july 2016 update

Here is the tactical asset allocation update for July 2016. If you didn’t listen to the news all month or didn’t check prices during the month then you would think it was a pretty uneventful month and overall quite a decent month for almost all asset classes. Unfortunately, like most people you probably at least paid some passing interest to the event du jour. This month it was Brexit (or the referendum vote in the UK to leave the EU which passed by a slight majority which was a surprise to markets). I’ll just say a couple of things about … Continue reading

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Using economic indicators to time the market – part 4

Today I’d like to wrap up this series on using economic indicators to time the market. In this final post I’ll look at using the unemployment-200day SMA indicator I’ve used in the first 3 parts of the series (link to part 3) but this time apply it to individual stock quant portfolios. All of the strategies mentioned are listed in the Portfolios page. Lets jump right in. The analysis here is pretty straightforward. I’ll take 3 example quant portfolios I’ve discussed many times here, then compare the portfolio stats of the stand-alone quant strategy with that of the quant strategy … Continue reading

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Using economic indicators to time the market – part 3

Time for the part 3 of the series on using economic indicators to time the market. In this post I’ll add a simple extension to the models analyzed in Part 2. If you haven’t read the first two posts you won’t understand this one. I’m just extending the model to include foreign stocks, foreign developed and emerging markets. This is much more reflective of real diversified portfolios – even with the heavy home bias amongst US investors. Lets see what that does to the results. For foreign developed stocks I’m using EFA ETF because it has the longest history. Similarly, … Continue reading

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Tactical asset allocation – june 2016 update

Here is the tactical asset allocation update for June 2016. Below is the snapshot for the AGG3, AGG6, and GTAA13 portfolios. The source data can be found here. The sheet contains the IVY5, GTAA5, and the Permanent Portfolio as well. These signals are valid after every trading day. So, while I’ll maintain these month end updates this means that you can implement your portfolio changes on any day of the month, not just month end. FINVIZ will at times generate signals that are slightly different than Yahoo Finance. Also, year to date performance figures have been updated and are included in the sheet. … Continue reading

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Using economic indicators to time the market – part 2

In my last post I looked at using the change in trend of the unemployment rate as a market timing indicator. The results were impressive to say the least – almost a doubling of risk adjusted returns over buy and hold. In this post I want to make the analysis I did a little more real world by adding safe assets to the mix. Let’s take the same analysis from the last post and add US gov’t bonds as the safe asset to switch into when the market timing indicator triggers an exit from US stocks. I’ll use real world … Continue reading

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Using economic indicators to time the market

If you pay attention to the financial market news you may have noticed a lot of attention being focused on the slowing US/Global economy and the implications it has for financial markets. Just do a search on ‘slowing global PMI’ and watch the hours waste away. Basically, the US/Global economy is slowing which means recession is right around the corner which means financial markets will tank. That seems to be the predominant bear case now, or one of the many. There is some merit to this argument. The worst market downturns occur during recessions. The trick is that you need … Continue reading

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Tactical asset allocation – may 2016 update

Here is the tactical asset allocation update for May 2016. Before I get into the updates for the month I want to share a must read post from Antonacci. In the post he lists some questions he often gets asked about markets and investing. Here they are; Question: How much do you think the stock market can drop? Response: 89% Question: What?!! Response: Well, that is the most it has dropped in the past. But past performance is no assurance of future success, so I guess it could go down more than that. Question: I just looked at my account, … Continue reading

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The future of beta – slip sliding away…

Value, momentum, size, quality, volatility, etc as factors in investing are quite popular. They’ve produced significant outsized returns relative to benchmarks. Now, we even have Smart Beta funds and ETFs popping up all over to make taking advantage of factors super easy. That brings up the critical question every investor interested in taking advantage of factors in their portfolio should ask – will the outperformance of factor investing continue in the future? Here I’ll take a look at a recent post from Alpha Architect that addresses this question. In short, investors should expect past outperformance to decrease in the future. … Continue reading

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Quant stock investing vs smart beta strategies

Factor based investing has become quite popular these days. Factors are characteristics of a group of stocks, the most famous being value and small cap, that are used to sort the overall universe of stocks. For quite some time certain factors have been shown to outperform the overall market over extended periods of time. The finance industry has jumped all over this and now offers many off the shelf funds and ETFs that aim to invest in these factors and outperform the market. There are about 400 Smart Beta funds now, totaling about $400B in assets. No need to do … Continue reading

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