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 |

'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 (32.9%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return, or performance of 53% of US Sector Rotation Strategy is higher, thus better.
- During the last 3 years, the total return, or increase in value is 23.8%, which is greater, thus better than the value of 11.6% from the benchmark.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The annual return (CAGR) over 5 years of US Sector Rotation Strategy is 8.9%, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (5.8%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (3.7%) in the period of the last 3 years, the annual performance (CAGR) of 7.4% is greater, thus better.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (18%) in the period of the last 5 years, the volatility of 9.4% of US Sector Rotation Strategy is lower, thus better.
- Looking at historical 30 days volatility in of 10.8% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to SPY (20.3%).

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

Which means for our asset as example:- The downside volatility over 5 years of US Sector Rotation Strategy is 6.6%, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (13.4%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the downside deviation is 7.8%, which is lower, thus better than the value of 15.3% from the benchmark.

'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 ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) over 5 years of US Sector Rotation Strategy is 0.68, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (0.19) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (0.06) in the period of the last 3 years, the Sharpe Ratio of 0.45 is higher, 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.25) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside risk / excess return profile of 0.97 of US Sector Rotation Strategy is higher, thus better.
- Looking at ratio of annual return and downside deviation in of 0.63 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to SPY (0.08).

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the Downside risk index of 2.38 in the last 5 years of US Sector Rotation Strategy, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (5.17 )
- During the last 3 years, the Ulcer Index is 2.54 , which is lower, thus better than the value of 5.93 from the benchmark.

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- 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 higher, thus better.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum reduction from previous high is -18.5 days, which is larger, thus better than the value of -33.7 days from the benchmark.

'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:- Looking at the maximum days under water of 173 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 (187 days)
- Compared with SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum days under water of 101 days is smaller, thus better.

'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:- Looking at the average days below previous high of 34 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 (42 days)
- During the last 3 years, the average days below previous high is 24 days, which is lower, thus better than the value of 36 days from the benchmark.

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.