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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Retirement spending revisited – live a little why don’t you…

Today I wanted to revisit the topic of spending in retirement. Having a retirement spending plan and monitoring that plan is just as important to retirement success as asset allocation or deciding on safe withdrawal rates (SWRs). Yet, it’s not discussed nearly as much as the other retirement topics. And most retirees don’t do it. I’ve talked about retirement spending in the past on the blog, from a personal anecdotal perspective, and from the overall perspective for all retirees, both questioning the conventional wisdom. The conventional wisdom models retiree spending as being adjusted for inflation, as measured by CPI (Consumer … Continue reading

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Quant strategies: Q1 2016 performance

Here are the Q1 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. In the table below I list various quant strategies along with their YTD performance and drawdowns. Also, listed are various benchmark indices. Overall, the start of 2016 is working quite well for the various quant strategies. The utility strategy is leading the pack with a huge Q1. Only the microcap … Continue reading

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Tactical asset allocation – April 2016 update

March was good month for risk assets. Let’s see if it continues in April. Here is the tactical asset allocation update for April 2016. Below are the updates for the AGG3, AGG6, and GTAA13 portfolios. The source data can be found here. 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. Note: I am not maintaining the Yahoo Finance versions any more. … Continue reading

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Tactical asset allocation – March 2016 update

Happy Leap Day! Here is the tactical asset allocation update for March 2016. As I mentioned last couple of months, I am now using a new data source for the portfolio updates. I am also maintaining the old portfolio formats, in Yahoo Finance, for a while. Here is the link to the Yahoo data. Below are the updates for the AGG3, AGG6, and GTAA13 portfolios. The source data can be found here. The big change here is the use of FINVIZ data and more importantly that these signals are valid after every trading day. So, while I’ll maintain these month end updates this … Continue reading

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Comparing portfolio performance (1973 to 2015)

I’ve finally managed to gather enough portfolio performance data to out together this year’s portfolio comparison edition. I was able to add 2014 and 2015 data. Last year’s post is here. You can use last year’s post and the Portfolios page for portfolio definitions. I’ll present the comparison of the portfolios in a few ways. I also added a few new fields this year. I added the last 3 yr, 5 yr, and 10 yr performance for each portfolio and performance in the last bull market and last bull/bear market cycle. Now, on to the data. First, lets present the … Continue reading

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