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The Morpheus ETF Strategy: Combining the Blue Pill and the Red

A guest post by Tom Gnade. Are you also interested in sharing your thoughts? Contact us! Several years ago, the Logical Invest whitepapers first introduced me to rotation investment strategies. After some research, I subscribed to the MYRS (the "Maximum Yield Rotation Strategy"), with good results. It was the first paid investment subscription I had ever used. I moved on to another service to learn options trading, and did well for two years, until a number of sharp setbacks made me come to terms with my investment goals. After further reflection, here is what really matters to me: Consistency. One must have clear goals and consistent methods for selecting, entering, and exiting positions. Emotions make for very bad decisions. Efficiency. I work two jobs and love spending time with my family. I can’t spend hours each day actively managing investments and assessing risk. Risk management. I need a method that consistently redistributes risk, and that doesn’t rely on my own knowledge or intuition, which are so often flawed. It is too easy to chase gains and too difficult to recoup the inevitable losses. Objectivity. I am not in finance, and I don’t have the knowledge required to manage investments in individual stocks, where risk is difficult to predict at best. Programmatic investing substitutes objective rules for guesswork. Simplicity. I don’t want to manage too many investments at the same time. I like the aesthetic appeal of simplicity, which has the added benefit of limiting transaction costs. Results. I hate drawdowns, especially ones that take a long time to recover. I don’t mind volatility, as long as it slopes up. I love gains. Big gains. Go figure. So, that’s it. I need a fast, precise, powerful, scientific method shown to perform through thick and thin. Only an automated investment strategy can hope to fulfill these [...]

2017-05-05T12:10:56+00:00 By |26 Comments

The Logical Invest long-short US Sector Rotation Strategy

- A US sector rotation meta strategy combining dynamically 5 different sector strategies based on SPDR ETF The following paper will explain how to build a U.S. sector rotation strategy which allocates dynamically between 4 different long US sector rotation strategies and one short US sector rotation strategy. This strategy is therefore different from our Global Sector Rotation strategy, as it only employs US sectors. Due to low correlation of these sector rotations, the combination creates an ETF sector rotation model with considerably higher Sharpe values. The addition of the negatively correlated short sector rotation model significantly reduces volatility and drawdowns during difficult market periods. The chart shows the portfolio performance (black) compared with the S&P500 index (SPY ETF – red). The result is a meta sector ETF rotation strategy which performed well since 2000 in the backtests. The Sector rotation strategy produced an average yearly profit of 12.8% (SPY 5.1%) and a Sharpe ratio of 1.16 (SPY 0.25). Maximum drawdown was only 17% (SPY ETF 55%). So, the sector rotation model performed about 4x better than the S&P500. What makes this sector etf rotation strategy interesting is that it does not rely on either treasuries or bonds to balance out and hedge in times of market stress. It uses the short US ETF sector strategy as a hedge 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 U.S. Sector ETF’s - here SPDR ETF U.S. sector ETFs, based on the Dow Jones U.S. Industry Indices, have been within the first ETFs on the U.S. market. There are sector ETF available from SPDR, Vanguard, Schwab, iShares. There are also European versions of these sector ETFs as well. These 10 Dow Jones U.S. Industry sectors [...]

2017-04-21T14:29:01+00:00 By |10 Comments

Top Performing ETFs Strategies – Portfolio Idea

In the follow up to our webinar about how to compose top performing ETFs strategies among the QuantTrader community last weekend, we received many interesting questions and ideas to follow up. One question in particular I´d like to share in a post, as it involves all our “All Strategies” subscribers.John L. asks: “Using a simple meta strategy by choosing the top two strategies from the previous month (from the monthly newsletter), and investing in them the next month (repeating that each month). I wonder if that can be backtested and compared to past 3 months or a static meta strategy. Perhaps comparing the top 2 each month strategy to the choosing the top 2 from the last 3 months. And comparing the top 2 each month or 3 months to a static strategy of the top 2 - 4 over the full backtest period or past 5 or 10 years.”So in other words, what´s the best way to pick from the Top Performing ETFs Strategies of the last months, and allocate equal amount of money among them? We publish the performance of all our strategies monthly in a handy ranking table, so it´s easy to pick each month the best performers of the last months, and repeat this throughout the year.The idea is appealing, as it is an enhancement from our Portfolio Builder Approach, where we apply modern portfolio theory to assemble a fixed weighting portfolio based on the historical performance and co-variance between the strategies. By modifying this to a momentum style “strategy picking” of top performing ETFs strategies we react to changes in the market and therefore overcome one of the critiques MPT receives frequently.Top Performing ETFs Strategies in one PortfolioI modelled this quickly in QuantTrader, following the “Strategy of Strategies” approach we introduced in QuantTrader in the last [...]

2017-04-21T11:39:04+00:00 By |3 Comments

Interactive webinar Quanttrader: Building high-performing Strategies

On Saturday February 11, 2017 the QuantTrader Community of Logical Invest hosted their first interactive Webinar to explore the functionalities of the software and exchange on tips for building and backtesting high-performing ETF rotation momentum strategies for retirement and savings accounts. Background of QUANTtrader QUANTtrader is a swiss-made software tool used to develop, backtest and implement rules-based ETF Rotation investment strategies. Since it is built by a trader and long-time investor rather than by a developer, QuantTrader’s main strength is in building medium to long term investment portfolios that are diverse, adaptive and can control risk. All this without writing a single line of code. The software comes per-populated with all strategies currently run by Logical Invest. These are strategies that have been successfully running “live” for 1-3 years as of  February 2017, so you can actually track past performance. You can customize, tweak existing or build your own strategies. Live Recording of the Session - 2 hours in-depth review on ETF Rotation Momentum Strategies Agenda: How to get started? File Management & Main functionalities Benefit of QuantTrader Dynamic Allocation vs. Online Portfolio Builder Markowitz Modern Portfolio Theory Ranking Algorithms and Strategy Parameters Optimization routine and how to avoid over optimization Extending backtests with synthetic tickers Consideration for combining strategies into MetaStrategies Showing off – Some of the best strategies and portfolios so far Free 30 days trial – Try it out now! Interested in giving it a try? Build your own high performing Portfolio for savings or retirement account, most IRA and 401k plans are supported. No credit card or PayPal needed, register now. To learn more about building your ETF Rotation Momentum strategy with QuantTrader see here. A good fit for Advisors and money managers using ETF Rotation Momentum Strategies In many ways, QT is a good fit for [...]

2017-04-20T01:27:47+00:00 By |0 Comments

One Approach to Rational Retirement Plan Investment Allocations

We analyse one of the Fidelity Freedom Target Date Funds (FFFDX) versus a portfolio of ETF rotation strategies - The findings will surprise you! This is a guest post by Richard Manley, first published on Richard´s Corner, the Logical Invest User Community: Defined contribution retirement plan using target date funds There’s no shortage of challenges facing working people in these days. In addition to job outsourcing and the offshoring whole operations, inflation/deflation and zero interest rates on savings, most workers who have a retirement plan have one that’s called a “defined contribution plan”, in the US in many cases it’s also called a 401K. In such a plan, a participant contributes before-tax funds, often matched to some degree by the employer, into an account that is intended to accrue and grow until retirement age when it can be distributed over one’s retirement lifetime. This kind of plan of course puts the responsibility and burden of making wise investment choices on the individual. Most working folks are not trained in finance or security selection or portfolio construction and are thus left to rely on their own uninformed devices or advice from financial gurus in the media or in newsletters or cable TV talking heads, or merely to reactionary emotions that attend to most of us during extreme financial events. The U.S Dept. of Labor’s new “Fiduciary Rule” will take effect in April, but what practical effect this may have on individual’s specific investment actions under defined contribution plans remains to be seen. As a retirement plan investor, I’ve experienced all these pitfalls and more while I’ve tried to save enough to comfortably retire someday. A coherent approach to managing my modest retirement assets was clearly lacking and as a result I found myself thrashing my account to respond to the [...]

2017-03-18T23:47:49+00:00 By |4 Comments

Portfolio Builder Update January 2017

Happy new year –and let´s start it set-up for success with some Markowitz Modern Portfolio Theory! As previously announced, we´re updating our Portfolio Builder Optimization periodically, both in the Online and Offline Version. Updated Portfolio Builder Optimization for 2017 employing Markowitz Modern Portfolio Theory Why that? Recall the Portfolio Builder is using a Markowitz Modern Portfolio Theory approach, that is, we´re using past returns, volatilities and co-variances to determine an optimum fixed-weight allocation among our different strategies under certain rules: Either to Maximize the Sharpe Ratio (Risk/Return), target a volatility level one feels comfortable with, or to limit historical drawdown in the expectation this will also hold true for the future. Using Markowitz Modern Portfolio Theory While full-blood Markowitz aficionados will now probably feel the urgent need to stone us to death, yes, same to some other peers in the industry our approach is dynamic and we do not feel the past is set in .. hmm.. stone! As such, we need to update our Portfolio Builder Optimization periodically based on the most recent returns, volatilities and co-variances of and between our strategies. As the overall optimization is based on data from the past 8 years and we´re only adding the last quarter of data the changes are relatively small as you can see in the following. 2016 results of our 10 Portfolios for everybody But before going into the allocations for 2017, how was the performance of the 10 “pre-configured” Portfolio´s during 2016? Results using our Online Portfolio Builder are as follows: But overall with all Portfolios in the double-digit area, six of ten Portfolios topping 20% in returns and all but the minimum Volatility Portfolio exceeding the 12% return of the S&P 500, the conclusion of a partly bumpy year with many surprises is excellent. It pays out [...]

2017-04-20T01:50:55+00:00 By |6 Comments

Strategies For Trading Inverse Volatility

Update: You can see the most recent performance our our inverse volatility strategy here. Consult vixcentral for the daily VIC term curve. In this paper, I present five different strategies you can use to trade inverse volatility. Why trade inverse volatility you ask? Because since 2011, trading inverse volatility was probably the most rewarding investment an investor could make in the markets. Annual returns of between 40% - 100% have been possible which crushes any other strategy I know. Smartly Trading inverse volatility In modern markets, the best way to protect capital would be to rotate out of falling assets, like we do in our rotation strategies. This is relatively easy, if you are invested only in a few ETFs, but it is much more difficult, if you are invested in a lot of different shares. In such a situation an easy way to protect capital is to hedge it, going long VIX Futures, VIX call options or VIX ETFs VXX. If you trade inverse volatility, which means going short VIX, you play the role of an insurer who sells worried investors an insurance policy to protect them from falling stock markets. To hedge a portfolio by 100% an investor needs to buy VXX ETFs for about 20% of the portfolio value. The VXX ETF loses up to 10% of it's value per month, because of the VIX Futures contango, so this means that scared investors are willing to pay 1.5-2% of the portfolio value per month or around 25% per year for this insurance. Investing in inverse volatility means nothing more, than taking over the risk and collecting this insurance premium from worried investors and you can capitalize on this with a few simple strategies, which I will show you below. Something seems afoot. Why do investors pay 25% per year [...]

2017-04-26T06:38:57+00:00 By |38 Comments

The NASDAQ 100 Meta-Strategy – Stock Selection and Compact Meta-Strategy

Intelligent Algorithms run two prallel sub-strategies. Meta- layer chooses between the two sub-strategies based on current market conditions. Variable allocation to Treasuries provides protection from large drawdowns.This strategy is a good fit for investors that want to invest intelligently in the U.S. equity market as well as for stock-pickers looking for a rules-based growth strategy. The strategy can also complement our existing strategies and can work well with our more conservative strategies like BRS (bond rotation), the BUG or with non-U.S. equity strategies like World Top 4.

2017-04-20T01:41:00+00:00 By |14 Comments

Volatilidad: Como construir una inversión con un rendimiento de más del 50%?

En este artículo quiero explicar cómo funciona nuestra Estrategia de Rotación de Máximo Rendimiento "Maximum Yield Rotation Strategy". Esta estrategia logra muy altos retornos por invertir en fondos de volatilidad inversa. Desde 2011 hasta hoy el rendimiento anual fue de más del 55% por año. Durante el año presente el rendimiento acumulado es del 27%. El ratio de Sharpe (una estimación del retorno por unidad de  riesgo) de 2,1 es un "valor sueño" y dudo que alguien puede mostrar una estrategia con una mayor proporción.La estrategia invierte en 4 ETF diferentes: Mercado de acciones de Estados Unidos Bonos del Tesoro Volatilidad Inversa Equivalente a Efectivo

2017-03-13T18:57:08+00:00 By |0 Comments

Market DrawDown: TMV ETF hedging and timing

The TMV ETF should stay in place for quite some long time, and it´s a great investment to harvest time decay and avoid drawdown. The big tapering drawdowns of 2013 are past history. You don't need to look daily at the TMV short hedge. Just keep it. The ETF TMV is a loser and if you stay short it will be a long term winner. It should return about 10-15% per year. How to minimize a market drawdown using the TMV ETF Here is a long term chart of the TMV ETF. As you see, it lost 80% of it's value in the last 4 years. So being long TMV is one of the best way to destroy money - and this is why we short it. This to benefit from the time decay, but also to avoid market drawdown in times of market corrections. Here is a 12 month comparison with EDV and TMF. While all treasuries had quite big losses of about -7% in 2013, a short TMV position was flat over the year. EDV -7.2% TMF -18.2% (divide by 2 because TMF=+2x EDV) -9.1% TMV 0.6% (divide by -2 because TMV=-2x EDV) = -0.3% Since 2009 the average return of the ETF TMV short is nearly 20%. With normal ETFs you only profit from Treasury yield (dividends). From this you have to substract mangagement fee and time decay of leveraged ETFs like TMF. With the TMV ETF you profit from Treasury yield (dividends) and because you are short TMV you profit also from mangagement fee and time decay. You can use this technique in several of our strategies. Instead of going long the TMF ETF you just short the same number of shares in TMV. Or instead of TLT just short 1/3 of the shares TMV, [...]

2017-04-26T04:37:09+00:00 By |0 Comments