Author Archives: paul.novell@gmail.com

Mapping the top economic indicators – feb 2017

Now that we have a good set of top economic reads on the state of the economy and a list of the top 6 individual economic indicators, we can tackle using these indicators to get a gauge on where we are in the economic cycle. In this post we’ll present a simple heat map of the top 6 economic indicators, look at what the heat map looked like in previous recessionary periods, and finally compare it to what the heat map is saying today. This will become a regular monthly post, published on or just after the third Friday of … Continue reading

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Retirement hysteria strikes again

It must be that time of the year again. Retirement hysteria time. Usually in the new year I start seeing a slew of articles on how your retirement is at risk, how you cannot possibly retire now, and the theme for the last few years – how high stock market valuations and low interest rates will guarantee that either you are going to work forever or you are going to retire with a much lower living standard. This time the offending piece was in Kiplinger’s of all places, which was brought to my attention by one my weekly econ reads, … Continue reading

Posted in Retirement | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

The top 6 indicators on the state of the economy

A quick post on a new page I have added to the blog. In the top menu you will see a page called ‘Top 6 EconomicĀ Indicators“. On this page you will find FRED graphs of 6 economic indicators, updated automatically when new data is available. I’ll tell you a bit more about these indicators below and why they were chosen. First, there are a lot of economic indicators these days. There are individual indicators (we track 66 of them), like the unemployment rate, for very measuring very specific aspects of the economy, and composite indicators (made up of many individual … Continue reading

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Top 10 reads on the state of the economy

This is the first post on economic indicators. In this post we’ll share our top reads on the state of the US economy. Notice I say we, instead of I. In this new endeavor on tracking the economy I now have a partner. He happens to be my cousin and he is also an electrical engineer and even more of a geek than I am. I’ll talk about him more in the future. Before we dive into our top reads let me describe what we’re trying to do. What we’re trying to do is use economic indicators, individual and/or composite … Continue reading

Posted in Economic Indicators | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

TAA bond strategy on Allocatesmartly

Just a quick post today on the TAA bond strategy that I’ve posted on and keep track of here. Starting yesterday, the strategy is on AllocateSmartly. See the blog post discussing the details of the strategy and it’s historical performance. A few important items that I’d like to highlight follow. First, the strategy is slightly different from the original that I posted here. The details are in the AllocateSmartly blog post. The ETFs are slightly different, the absolute momentum filter is applied against T-bills instead of using zero like I did, and the backtest results are much more robust. The … Continue reading

Posted in TAA Investing | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

O’Shaughnessy on active management

Recently, Jim O’Shaughnessy, the author of What Works On Wall Street, took to Twitter with his first tweet storm (basically a short post in a series of tweets). In it he spoke about his thoughts on active management. I thought I should capture it for future reference. I’ll add comments and links throughout. What Works On Wall Street (4th edition) is basically 681 pages on a handful of factors; mainly value and momentum, with minor roles played by small-cap, equal-weighting, and quality. The lack of ability to focus on the long term is the number one behavioral issue that prevents … Continue reading

Posted in Quant Investing | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Comparing portfolio performance (1973 to 2016)

Note: All the data tables have been updated to include the TAA bond strategy. Thanks to AllocateSmartly, P123, and Stockcharts.com, I was able to gather 2016 performance data much sooner than last year. This post updates the portfolio statistics, through 2016, for all the various portfolios I track that I have data for going back to 1973. It is not comprehensive by any means but contains a good sample of various diversified global buy and hold portfolios, tactical asset allocation portfolios, and quant portfolios, as well as the popular benchmarks, in particular the 60/40 portfolio for US investors. Last year’s … Continue reading

Posted in Portfolio | Tagged , , , , | 16 Comments

What’s new for 2017

A quick post on some changes to the blog. Overall, the blog will be still mainly be focused on quantitative investing. I will also continue to write aboutĀ investing in retirement which has it’s own challenges. Now for the changes. The biggest change to the blog is that you’ll start to see more posts about the economy and economic indicators. This has long been a hobby of mine. Now I’ll just write about it for public consumption. The focus will be on quantitative indicators of the economy. This is directly applicable to investing since stocks lose the most during recessions. I … Continue reading

Posted in Portfolio | Tagged , | 22 Comments

Quant strategies: 2016 performance review

Happy New Year everyone! Hope you all had a great holiday season full of great food, family, and a lack of financial market news and data. I just returned from two weeks with my entire family, plus my wife’s family, down in Coconut Grove, Fl in a great Airbnb rental. It provided a much needed rest and re-charge particularly from the markets. Now, its time to get back to business in 2017. For the first couple of posts this year I’ll do some looking back at 2016 performance. Today I’ll cover 2016 total returns for the various quant strategies I … Continue reading

Posted in Quant Investing | Tagged , , | 16 Comments

Bond quant performance during the bond selloff

I was going to title this post something like ‘bond quant performance during the bond meltdown’ or something a bit more hyperbolic than the current title. But there’s enough hyperbole in the financial news without me adding to the mix. Just google ‘bond meltdown’ and you’ll see what I mean. Anyway, in this post I want to take a quick look at how the Bond Quant model has performed during the recent bond selloff. I’ll look at performance from the end of 2015 through yesterday. First, let’s take a look at some benchmarks for broad bond portfolios. Here’s the YTD … Continue reading

Posted in Bonds, Quant Investing | Tagged , , , | 23 Comments