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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the total return, or performance of 38.9% in the last 5 years of US Sector Rotation Strategy, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (122%)
- Compared with SPY (61%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return of 22.3% is lower, thus worse.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The annual return (CAGR) over 5 years of US Sector Rotation Strategy is 6.8%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (17.3%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) is 6.9%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 17.2% from the benchmark.

'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 volatility over 5 years of US Sector Rotation Strategy is 9.6%, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (18.8%) in the same period.
- Looking at historical 30 days volatility in of 11.5% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to SPY (22.5%).

'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 6.8% 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%)
- Looking at downside risk in of 8.2% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (16.3%).

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The risk / return profile (Sharpe) over 5 years of US Sector Rotation Strategy is 0.45, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.79) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) is 0.39, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.65 from the benchmark.

'The Sortino ratio improves upon the Sharpe ratio by isolating downside volatility from total volatility by dividing excess return by the downside deviation. The Sortino ratio is a variation of the Sharpe ratio that differentiates harmful volatility from total overall volatility by using the asset's standard deviation of negative asset returns, called downside deviation. The Sortino ratio takes the asset's return and subtracts the risk-free rate, and then divides that amount by the asset's downside deviation. The ratio was named after Frank A. Sortino.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (1.09) in the period of the last 5 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 0.63 of US Sector Rotation Strategy is lower, thus worse.
- Looking at downside risk / excess return profile in of 0.54 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.9).

'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 Ratio over 5 years of US Sector Rotation Strategy is 3.23 , which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (5.58 ) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (6.83 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Ulcer Ratio of 3.8 is smaller, thus better.

'A maximum drawdown is the maximum loss from a peak to a trough of a portfolio, before a new peak is attained. Maximum Drawdown is an indicator of downside risk over a specified time period. It can be used both as a stand-alone measure or as an input into other metrics such as 'Return over Maximum Drawdown' and the Calmar Ratio. Maximum Drawdown is expressed in percentage terms.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum reduction from previous high of -18.5 days of US Sector Rotation Strategy is larger, thus better.
- Looking at maximum DrawDown in of -18.5 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to SPY (-33.7 days).

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The maximum days below previous high over 5 years of US Sector Rotation Strategy is 353 days, which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (139 days) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum days below previous high of 353 days is larger, thus worse.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The average days under water over 5 years of US Sector Rotation Strategy is 82 days, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (33 days) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (34 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average days under water of 100 days is greater, thus worse.

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.
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Allocations and holdings shown below are delayed by one month. To see current trading allocations of US Sector Rotation Strategy, register now.

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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.