1)Rebalancing “when needed” is used mainly for old style investing. You wait for example until some asset crosses the 200day moving average and then you sell the whole asset. This way to invest is not really good because you always wait until something gets bad and then you realize loss. Our strategies will rebalance even if the owned ETF is still doing quite well if there is another ETF which is doing better. Also we change allocations gradually when the market changes and this has to be done in regular intervals.
2)The main reason is the up and down of the market 2015/2016. Each time the strategies go to risk off mode and then have to go back if the market recovers. This is in general bad for such strategies. If however once you are not lucky and don’t have an immediate recovery, then you are safe with a strategy which switched in risk off mode.
3)Unfortunately you lose 1/3 of dividends due to the US witholding tax which adds up to 1-2% per year.
4)No, we need special Excel formulas and macros