With a month to go in 2017, I have some upcoming enhancements to the Economic Pulse Newsletter that I’d like to announce. If this is the first time you hear about the newsletter you can learn all about it here. There’s even a little screencast I did explaining the concepts behind the letter.
The changes will go into effect at the beginning of 2018. I’ll provide a lot more detail for subscribers as we get closer to year end but here is a summary of the new items coming to the newsletter.
- New and improved version of the COMP indicator – we have a slightly enhanced version of the COMP indicator which should prove to be more robust in the future. Past performance improves slightly but we are really making this change for the future. This will aid in protecting us from ‘unknown unknowns’. We’ll publish a special report during December describing the changes and comparing it to the current COMP system.
- Two new investment models – This will be the biggest enhancement to the newsletter. So far, the investment models we use primarily outperform the benchmarks by avoiding risky periods. During risk-on periods they only match the benchmarks, we specifically don’t go after alpha during these periods. The two new investment models change that. With them, during risk-on periods they go on offense to try to outperform the benchmarks. During December, I’ll publish full details on the models. For now, a brief description of each model is below. This will bring the total number of investment models to 6; 5 equity TAA models and one bond TAA model. We don’t want to have a sprawl of investment models that makes deciding between them difficult so this is the max number we will have. We think part of our value add is curating among the array of investment model options and providing a few selected models. If we bring on a new model in the future it will replace one of the existing models.
- EM-COMP investment model – Very similar to the current DM-COMP model except we go looking for outperformance during risk-on periods. In lieu of SPY, we use the equal weight version of the US large cap index, via the RSP ETF. And instead of VEA for international markets we use emerging markets, via the VWO ETF. These two slight modifications improve returns by about 4% over DM-COMP while increasing drawdowns by 3.5%.
- World Factor COMP investment model (WF-COMP) – I’ve been working on this one for a while. It is based on Faber’s GTAA AGG3 model. This new model uses relative momentum to invest in the top 4 assets classes among a list of 10 risky asset classes. Like the other models, it uses the COMP indicator as the risk-on risk off trigger and invests in the same risk-off asset class during those periods, intermediate US government bonds. Returns improve by over 1.5% relative to DM-COMP and over 4% relative to GTAA AGG3.
- New newsletter pricing. The last change will be the pricing for new subscribers. Starting in 2018, the subscription rate will increase to $35/month. Existing subscribers and those that enroll before the end of the year will stay at the $25/month rate.
The table below shows some initial performance statistics for the two new models as compared to the current models and some popular benchmarks.
That sums up the newsletter changes for 2018. I think you’ll find the newsletter a valuable addition to your investment reading and a useful tool in navigating the noise that is so pervasive in financial markets today. I hope you give it a try. If you’d like a free sample drop me an email.
Full Disclaimer - Nothing on this site should ever be considered advice, research or the invitation to buy or sell securities. These are my personal opinions only.