Description

The U.S. Sector strategy allocates dynamically between four long U.S. sector sub-strategies. Each of the four long sub-strategies use different momentum and mean reversion criteria

Due to the low correlation of these strategies, the combination creates a strategy with a considerably higher Sharpe Ratio than a simple sector rotation.

The strategy uses SPDR sector ETFs, but you can replace these with the corresponding sector ETFs or futures from other issuers.

US sectors have historically been good for trend following systems because each sector usually over or under performs for long periods at a time due to longer lasting economic cycles and not just short-term market fluctuations.

The economy itself is not a linear stable system, but swings between periods of expansion (growth) and contraction (recession). This results in a series of market cycles which are visualized in the following picture.

Source: http://www.nowandfutures.com (Global Business Cycles)

Each market cycle favors different industry sectors. The goal of a good working strategy is to choose the best performing sectors while avoiding or even shorting the worst performing sectors.

You can read the original strategy whitepaper for more details.

Methodology & Assets

U.S. industry sectors ETFs, their corresponding inverse or short sector ETFs and optional futures:

U.S. Sector ETF Inverse (leverage) Globex Futures
Materials XLB SMN (-2x) IXB
Energy XLE ERY (-3x) IXEe
Financial XLF SKF (-2x) IXM
Industrials XLI SIJ (-2x) IXI
Technology XLK REW (-2x) IXT
Consumer Staples XLP SZK (-2x) IXR
Real Estate XLRE SRS (-2x) -
Utilities XLU SDP (-2x) IXU
Health Care XLV RXD (-2x) IXV
Consumer Discretionary XLY SCC (-2x) IXY

Statistics (YTD)

What do these metrics mean? [Read More] [Hide]

TotalReturn:

'Total return is the amount of value an investor earns from a security over a specific period, typically one year, when all distributions are reinvested. Total return is expressed as a percentage of the amount invested. For example, a total return of 20% means the security increased by 20% of its original value due to a price increase, distribution of dividends (if a stock), coupons (if a bond) or capital gains (if a fund). Total return is a strong measure of an investment’s overall performance.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (63%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return, or performance of 146.9% of US Sector Rotation Strategy is larger, thus better.
  • Compared with SPY (31.2%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return, or increase in value of 74.5% is higher, thus better.

CAGR:

'The compound annual growth rate isn't a true return rate, but rather a representational figure. It is essentially a number that describes the rate at which an investment would have grown if it had grown the same rate every year and the profits were reinvested at the end of each year. In reality, this sort of performance is unlikely. However, CAGR can be used to smooth returns so that they may be more easily understood when compared to alternative investments.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • The compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over 5 years of US Sector Rotation Strategy is 19.8%, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (10.3%) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) is 20.4%, which is greater, thus better than the value of 9.5% from the benchmark.

Volatility:

'In finance, volatility (symbol σ) is the degree of variation of a trading price series over time as measured by the standard deviation of logarithmic returns. Historic volatility measures a time series of past market prices. Implied volatility looks forward in time, being derived from the market price of a market-traded derivative (in particular, an option). Commonly, the higher the volatility, the riskier the security.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • The historical 30 days volatility over 5 years of US Sector Rotation Strategy is 12.7%, which is smaller, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (21.4%) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the historical 30 days volatility is 14.8%, which is lower, thus better than the value of 24.9% from the benchmark.

DownVol:

'Downside risk is the financial risk associated with losses. That is, it is the risk of the actual return being below the expected return, or the uncertainty about the magnitude of that difference. Risk measures typically quantify the downside risk, whereas the standard deviation (an example of a deviation risk measure) measures both the upside and downside risk. Specifically, downside risk in our definition is the semi-deviation, that is the standard deviation of all negative returns.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • The downside deviation over 5 years of US Sector Rotation Strategy is 9.1%, which is smaller, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (15.6%) in the same period.
  • Compared with SPY (18%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside deviation of 10.8% is lower, thus better.

Sharpe:

'The Sharpe ratio is the measure of risk-adjusted return of a financial portfolio. Sharpe ratio is a measure of excess portfolio return over the risk-free rate relative to its standard deviation. Normally, the 90-day Treasury bill rate is taken as the proxy for risk-free rate. A portfolio with a higher Sharpe ratio is considered superior relative to its peers. The measure was named after William F Sharpe, a Nobel laureate and professor of finance, emeritus at Stanford University.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Looking at the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of 1.37 in the last 5 years of US Sector Rotation Strategy, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.36)
  • During the last 3 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) is 1.21, which is greater, thus better than the value of 0.28 from the benchmark.

Sortino:

'The Sortino ratio measures the risk-adjusted return of an investment asset, portfolio, or strategy. It is a modification of the Sharpe ratio but penalizes only those returns falling below a user-specified target or required rate of return, while the Sharpe ratio penalizes both upside and downside volatility equally. Though both ratios measure an investment's risk-adjusted return, they do so in significantly different ways that will frequently lead to differing conclusions as to the true nature of the investment's return-generating efficiency. The Sortino ratio is used as a way to compare the risk-adjusted performance of programs with differing risk and return profiles. In general, risk-adjusted returns seek to normalize the risk across programs and then see which has the higher return unit per risk.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Looking at the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 1.9 in the last 5 years of US Sector Rotation Strategy, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.5)
  • During the last 3 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation is 1.66, which is greater, thus better than the value of 0.39 from the benchmark.

Ulcer:

'Ulcer Index is a method for measuring investment risk that addresses the real concerns of investors, unlike the widely used standard deviation of return. UI is a measure of the depth and duration of drawdowns in prices from earlier highs. Using Ulcer Index instead of standard deviation can lead to very different conclusions about investment risk and risk-adjusted return, especially when evaluating strategies that seek to avoid major declines in portfolio value (market timing, dynamic asset allocation, hedge funds, etc.). The Ulcer Index was originally developed in 1987. Since then, it has been widely recognized and adopted by the investment community. According to Nelson Freeburg, editor of Formula Research, Ulcer Index is “perhaps the most fully realized statistical portrait of risk there is.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Looking at the Downside risk index of 4.12 in the last 5 years of US Sector Rotation Strategy, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (8.49 )
  • Compared with SPY (10 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Downside risk index of 5.11 is lower, thus better.

MaxDD:

'Maximum drawdown measures the loss in any losing period during a fund’s investment record. It is defined as the percent retrenchment from a fund’s peak value to the fund’s valley value. The drawdown is in effect from the time the fund’s retrenchment begins until a new fund high is reached. The maximum drawdown encompasses both the period from the fund’s peak to the fund’s valley (length), and the time from the fund’s valley to a new fund high (recovery). It measures the largest percentage drawdown that has occurred in any fund’s data record.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the maximum reduction from previous high of -16.4 days in the last 5 years of US Sector Rotation Strategy, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days)
  • Looking at maximum DrawDown in of -16.4 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to SPY (-33.7 days).

MaxDuration:

'The Drawdown Duration is the length of any peak to peak period, or the time between new equity highs. The Max Drawdown Duration is the worst (the maximum/longest) amount of time an investment has seen between peaks (equity highs) in days.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • The maximum time in days below previous high water mark over 5 years of US Sector Rotation Strategy is 125 days, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (233 days) in the same period.
  • Compared with SPY (233 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum days below previous high of 125 days is lower, thus better.

AveDuration:

'The Drawdown Duration is the length of any peak to peak period, or the time between new equity highs. The Avg Drawdown Duration is the average amount of time an investment has seen between peaks (equity highs), or in other terms the average of time under water of all drawdowns. So in contrast to the Maximum duration it does not measure only one drawdown event but calculates the average of all.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (54 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average days under water of 28 days of US Sector Rotation Strategy is lower, thus better.
  • Looking at average time in days below previous high water mark in of 31 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (59 days).

Performance (YTD)

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.

Allocations ()

Allocations

Returns (%)

  • Note that yearly returns do not equal the sum of monthly returns due to compounding.
  • Performance results of US Sector Rotation Strategy are hypothetical, do not account for slippage, fees or taxes, and are based on backtesting, which has many inherent limitations, some of which are described in our Terms of Use.