The U.S. Sector strategy allocates dynamically between four long U.S. sector sub-strategies and one short U.S. sector strategy. Each of the four long sub-strategies use different momentum and mean reversion criteria. The short U.S. sector sub-strategy is used as a hedge to limit losses in case of a large market correction.
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 addition of the negatively correlated short strategy significantly reduces volatility and drawdowns during difficult market periods.
What makes this strategy interesting is that it does not rely on either treasuries or bonds to hedge in times of market stress, it uses the short US sector strategy instead. The hedging mechanism is purely "short equity" and unrelated to whether interest rates rise, a common concern when holding bonds in a portfolio.
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|
|Consumer Staples||XLP||SZK (-2x)||IXR|
|Real Estate||XLRE||SRS (-2x)||-|
|Health Care||XLV||RXD (-2x)||IXV|
|Consumer Discretionary||XLY||SCC (-2x)||IXY|
'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.'Which means for our asset as example:
'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.'Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
'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.'Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
'The downside volatility is similar to the volatility, or standard deviation, but only takes losing/negative periods into account.'Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
'The Sharpe ratio (also known as the Sharpe index, the Sharpe measure, and the reward-to-variability ratio) is a way to examine the performance of an investment by adjusting for its risk. The ratio measures the excess return (or risk premium) per unit of deviation in an investment asset or a trading strategy, typically referred to as risk, named after William F. Sharpe.'Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
'The Sortino ratio, a variation of the Sharpe ratio only factors in the downside, or negative volatility, rather than the total volatility used in calculating the Sharpe ratio. The theory behind the Sortino variation is that upside volatility is a plus for the investment, and it, therefore, should not be included in the risk calculation. Therefore, the Sortino ratio takes upside volatility out of the equation and uses only the downside standard deviation in its calculation instead of the total standard deviation that is used in calculating the Sharpe ratio.'Which means for our asset as example:
'The ulcer index is a stock market risk measure or technical analysis indicator devised by Peter Martin in 1987, and published by him and Byron McCann in their 1989 book The Investors Guide to Fidelity Funds. It's designed as a measure of volatility, but only volatility in the downward direction, i.e. the amount of drawdown or retracement occurring over a period. Other volatility measures like standard deviation treat up and down movement equally, but a trader doesn't mind upward movement, it's the downside that causes stress and stomach ulcers that the index's name suggests.'Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
'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 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 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: