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.

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 |

'The total return on a portfolio of investments takes into account not only the capital appreciation on the portfolio, but also the income received on the portfolio. The income typically consists of interest, dividends, and securities lending fees. This contrasts with the price return, which takes into account only the capital gain on an investment.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the total return of 62.9% in the last 5 years of US Sector Rotation Strategy, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (67.9%)
- Looking at total return, or performance in of 23.1% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (38.6%).

'The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is a useful measure of growth over multiple time periods. It can be thought of as the growth rate that gets you from the initial investment value to the ending investment value if you assume that the investment has been compounding over the time period.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the annual return (CAGR) of 10.2% in the last 5 years of US Sector Rotation Strategy, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (10.9%)
- During the last 3 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) is 7.2%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 11.5% from the benchmark.

'Volatility is a rate at which the price of a security increases or decreases for a given set of returns. Volatility is measured by calculating the standard deviation of the annualized returns over a given period of time. It shows the range to which the price of a security may increase or decrease. Volatility measures the risk of a security. It is used in option pricing formula to gauge the fluctuations in the returns of the underlying assets. Volatility indicates the pricing behavior of the security and helps estimate the fluctuations that may happen in a short period of time.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The 30 days standard deviation over 5 years of US Sector Rotation Strategy is 9.5%, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (18.7%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the volatility is 11.1%, which is lower, thus better than the value of 21.5% from the benchmark.

'The downside volatility is similar to the volatility, or standard deviation, but only takes losing/negative periods into account.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the downside deviation of 6.7% in the last 5 years of US Sector Rotation Strategy, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (13.6%)
- Compared with SPY (15.7%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside risk of 7.9% is lower, thus better.

'The Sharpe ratio was developed by Nobel laureate William F. Sharpe, and is used to help investors understand the return of an investment compared to its risk. The ratio is the average return earned in excess of the risk-free rate per unit of volatility or total risk. Subtracting the risk-free rate from the mean return allows an investor to better isolate the profits associated with risk-taking activities. One intuition of this calculation is that a portfolio engaging in 'zero risk' investments, such as the purchase of U.S. Treasury bills (for which the expected return is the risk-free rate), has a Sharpe ratio of exactly zero. Generally, the greater the value of the Sharpe ratio, the more attractive the risk-adjusted return.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) over 5 years of US Sector Rotation Strategy is 0.81, which is higher, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (0.45) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (0.42) in the period of the last 3 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of 0.42 is greater, thus better.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The excess return divided by the downside deviation over 5 years of US Sector Rotation Strategy is 1.16, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (0.62) in the same period.
- Looking at excess return divided by the downside deviation in of 0.59 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to SPY (0.57).

'The Ulcer Index is a technical indicator that measures downside risk, in terms of both the depth and duration of price declines. The index increases in value as the price moves farther away from a recent high and falls as the price rises to new highs. The indicator is usually calculated over a 14-day period, with the Ulcer Index showing the percentage drawdown a trader can expect from the high over that period. The greater the value of the Ulcer Index, the longer it takes for a stock to get back to the former high.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The Ulcer Index over 5 years of US Sector Rotation Strategy is 2.66 , which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (5.82 ) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (6.87 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Downside risk index of 3.02 is lower, thus better.

'Maximum drawdown is defined as the peak-to-trough decline of an investment during a specific period. It is usually quoted as a percentage of the peak value. The maximum drawdown can be calculated based on absolute returns, in order to identify strategies that suffer less during market downturns, such as low-volatility strategies. However, the maximum drawdown can also be calculated based on returns relative to a benchmark index, for identifying strategies that show steady outperformance over time.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The maximum DrawDown over 5 years of US Sector Rotation Strategy is -18.5 days, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (-33.7 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley of -18.5 days is larger, thus better.

'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). Many assume Max DD Duration is the length of time between new highs during which the Max DD (magnitude) occurred. But that isn’t always the case. The Max DD duration is the longest time between peaks, period. So it could be the time when the program also had its biggest peak to valley loss (and usually is, because the program needs a long time to recover from the largest loss), but it doesn’t have to be'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (187 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 173 days of US Sector Rotation Strategy is smaller, thus better.
- Looking at maximum days under water in of 101 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (139 days).

'The Average Drawdown Duration is an extension of the Maximum Drawdown. However, this metric does not explain the drawdown in dollars or percentages, rather in days, weeks, or months. 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:- Looking at the average days under water of 35 days in the last 5 years of US Sector Rotation Strategy, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (43 days)
- Looking at average time in days below previous high water mark in of 28 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (39 days).

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.
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- 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.