- Ben AndersenParticipant04/08/2015 at 12:58 amPost count: 3
Thank you. I am trying to figure out what the acceptable costs would be if wanted to do this strategy by shorting the inverse 3x ETFs like TMV and SPXS.
With my current (US) broker there is a “hard to borrow” fee of 2%/year – and it looks like the margin interest rate is then on top. Any guide lines as to when the cost outweights the benefits shorting inverse 3x ETFs?
- Alexander HornKeymaster04/10/2015 at 8:43 pmPost count: 263
We’ll dive more into borrowing costs in Part II, when we look at shorting the -3x ETF. For the time being, also have a look at the cost at IB: http://bit.ly/1C9BjRc
Guess you have seen the discussion at seekingalpha, also there quite some comments on that topic: http://seekingalpha.com/article/3050016-hell-on-fire-the-3x-leveraged-universal-investment-strategy-part-i#comment-50996466
- Ronald BriceParticipant05/01/2015 at 11:02 pmPost count: 8
I invested in the UIS-3x strategy for the first time this morning (May 1).
I bought SPXL (80% allocation) and TMF (20% allocation) at the market open. Here are my trades (sorry for the bad formatting):
Symbol Date Open Close Bought At
SPXL 1-May $92.03 $93.57 $92.05
SPXL 30-Apr $92.69 $90.76 N/A
TMF 1-May $83.12 $81.75 $83.12
TMF 30-Apr $83.22 $85.18 N/A
When the market closed today (May 1), I ended up with a gain in SPXL of 1.65% and a loss in TMF of -1.65%. Overall, due to the Allocations below, I gained 1%. Pretty good.
Now looking at the snapshot of the Return Tables below, I certainly did not experience the percentages in the “Symbol Ret” column.
Entry Exit Symbol Allocation Symbol Ret Strategy Ret
4/30/15 5/1/15 SPXL 80 3.1 1.67
4/30/15 5/1/15 TMF 20 -4.03 1.67
Of course, had I invested in UIS-3x prior to May 1, I would have received the “Symbol Ret” percentages. But I believe we are told to invest in strategies on either the first trading day we receive the signal or on the second trading day, and to invest at the market open (or market close or with a limit order throughout the day). But in the case above, it is very misleading since I was not invested prior to May 1, yet the “Symbol Ret” column assumes that I was.
Can I please get your feedback on this topic?
- Frank GrossmannModerator05/04/2015 at 10:06 amPost count: 131
At the beginning of a strategy investment it is clear that it makes a difference when you invest. However these are long term strategies, and after a few month it makes not much a difference anymore. Sure one month you probably have a less good trade than our end of month rebalancing, but there are about the same amount of month where you get a better trade. After a number of trades the difference is about zero. The difference of trades for such a short period is more random noise. If it would not be random, then we would instantly made a nice strategy out of it.
The only real difference which will reduce your performance slightly compared to our published performance is that we do not calculate spreads and commissions. These are different from broker to broker, but the spread for SPY/TLT and even SPXL/TMF is very small, and commissions are also small seen that most of the time you rebalance only 10% of your portfolio. All together spread and commissions are less than 1% for the whole year with a good discount broker.
- Derrick ScheidParticipant05/07/2015 at 11:31 pmPost count: 14
I am a new subscriber and I had the exact same question as Ronald. Hopefully this was a particularly bad month for the rotation because the allocation changed by such a large percent (50/50 to 80/20 in UIS unleveraged) coincidentally with a large move in the ETFs between the signal and execution. Frank, regarding your answer, I wonder why you don’t just use the opening price for the first day of the month on the website? If it doesn’t affect the results much overall, it would certainly make the percentages line up more closely to actual execution prices month to month. I’m sure as you say, long term it makes little difference but it would help me to see my percentages more closely match those on the signals pages month to month. Just out of curiosity, do you personally execute your trades at the close on the last day of the month or after the open on the 1st day? Thanks.
- Frank GrossmannModerator05/10/2015 at 3:52 amPost count: 131
There are several reasons not to use opening prices. The most important is that for the ETFs we only get adjusted closing prices from the data provider. So all our calculations are based on closing prices and our subscribers can backtest and verify the results. The second reason is that using adjusted closing prices is a sort of industry standard. Websites like EtfReplay.com which let you backtest simple rotation strategies use the same approach. The third reason is that using the end of day closing price, I can calculate the new allocation just after the last trading day of the month, and this way you know the allocation before the market opens the next day. Also I do not recommend to trade at open, because this would probably result in quite a big slippage if all subscribers would do so. It is better to have the trades distributed over the first 2 days. So, anyway every investor will get slightly different prices.
- Ronald BriceParticipant05/10/2015 at 12:10 pmPost count: 8
Frank, on your website (Strategies –> How to invest in our strategies), it says:
“Once you subscribe to our strategies, we will send you monthly (or more often depending on the strategy) a newsletter with the buy and sell signals of the strategies you subscribed to. We recommend you to execute these orders at your broker the next morning; this should be doable online within 15-20 minutes. Submitting your order some 2-3 days later is also OK for the strategies we use, you might only see the “turn of the month effect” to be reduced and “out-of-sync” with our reports.”
I also searched the forums for references regarding when trades should be executed. One post said trade at the open, one said trade during the first two days, one said trade at the open on the 2nd day, etc. The text above from the website says to trade at the market open after receiving the signals.
What is the final recommendation? If the recommendation is to trade anytime during the first two days (after receiving the signals), but always at the same time every month, then ok.
Does your trading recommendation apply to every single strategy?
- VangelisModerator05/21/2015 at 1:49 amPost count: 119
There is no edge in picking a day other than being close to reported results. My recommendation for the BUG strategies has been to trade on the second day of the month @ the open if you have IB account or manually during the day, preferably below VWAP, if not. If you are dealing with less liquid ETFs, trade towards the close of the day.
Keep in mind, these are monthly strategies. If you pick a random day in the month, sometimes you will do better sometimes worst than the reported strategy. If there was an “edge” then that would be a strategy in itself. End-of-month trading used to have an edge, not anymore.
- gselsidiParticipant06/04/2015 at 2:43 pmPost count: 4
This is a general question about the UIS, leveraged or none, it goes off on the notion of bonds and equities having a negative correlation, what if in the future this correlation breaks down, wouldn’t this break the whole strategy?
How does a strategy where you go short equities through either a regular short of the long SPY fund, or through a bear ETF perform? This would remove the uncertainty that if these 2 instruments lose their negative correlation, the strategy can still work.
- Chee WeeParticipant07/04/2015 at 10:46 amPost count: 1
Hi, is there any reason why SPXL was used instead of UPRO (which has a higher volume)?
- Raymond CapozziParticipant07/20/2015 at 9:33 pmPost count: 3
I too wonder why SPXL over UPRO. The volume on UPRO is way better than SPXL. That should reduce spread. But what about cost? I don’t know.
I prefer the UPRO index over TQQQ as SP500 is more diversify. I hate to risk capital on so few companies that occupy QQQ. QQQ is 70% made from AMZN, GOOG, APPL, and Facebook (is that really a company) since it is market cap weighted index. I really like the idea of QQQE. I do not know of a 3X version of that index. But I like the idea of back testing even more. LogicInvest does those things. And they do it very well.
- Nikesh SimhaParticipant01/13/2016 at 11:10 pmPost count: 5
Will using a MA crossover as a cash filter help this strategy? Is there any reason not to do this? Will Using a filter for going to cash diminish the returns significantly? I would imagine it would certainly decrease drawdowns. Your thoughts are greatly appreciated.
- VangelisModerator01/14/2016 at 3:34 amPost count: 119
Historically, it has been better not to use a MA filter since Treasuries worked better than go-to-cash. In other words, from a backtesting point of view, it has been best to be always invested. The BUG does use the mechanism you mentioned and the leverage version is currently all in cash, because of that.
Keep in mind that UIS 3x is not the best choice for very volatile markets since both 3x components suffer losses. There are other more conservative choices. If you must trade the 3x, it is better to short the reverse 3x’s, or if you cannot, go with the straight UIS.
- PatrickParticipant02/22/2016 at 3:50 pmPost count: 2
It is a good strategy to apply the same ratio as the maximum yield strategy for the 3x leveraged Universal Investment strategy (ex: 40% SPXL and 60% TMF if maximum yield strategy is 40% ZIV and 60% TMF), such as for the beginning of the month and for the middle of the month.
- Frank GrossmannModerator02/24/2016 at 3:32 amPost count: 131
The 3x leveraged SP500 ETF is moving very similar to ZIV, so many times also the ratios are the same. If however the VIX Futures go again in steep contango so that ZIV will gain again from rolling the Futures, then the ratio can be quite different.
- Greg GainesParticipant04/30/2016 at 8:07 pmPost count: 1
I am a bit confused by the posted 2009 Annual Performance Vs Spy return of 174%. When I examine the monthly returns for 2009 as given in the section below the Annual returns. I calculate a 2009 return just barely over 20%. Can you clarify please?
- Deshan WoodsParticipant07/30/2016 at 8:34 pmPost count: 7
Just wanted everyone to know that the 3x leveraged version strategy page hasn’t been loading over past week.
- VangelisModerator08/16/2016 at 12:14 pmPost count: 119
Depending on volatility, 3x Etfs experience decay and in the long run will not provide 3x the returns of the simple ETFs. UIS with 300K allocated will, most of the time, perform a bit better than 3xUIS with $100K due to 3x ETF decay. There is a lot of literature on 3x ETF decay available on the internet.
- Supal PatelParticipant01/03/2017 at 12:38 amPost count: 3
In the monthly strategy email it says universal investment strategy can be used with different scenarios like “There are many kinds of option trades possible. Most of them will be selling ATM or OTM SPY and TLT strangles.”
1) Can we combine Logical Investment strategies with some option premium selling strategies? Have you performed any back test to see what kind of option selling strategies can be applied?
2) Do you suggest selling covered calls or selling ATM put options for NASDAQ100 or gold currency or UIS?
Appreciate some guidance on this.
- Frank GrossmannModerator01/03/2017 at 5:20 amPost count: 131
Option strategies are very hard to backtest. Data is difficult to get and even if you backtest, spreads can be much different doing real trades.
The only thing I do in sideways markets is to sell slightly OTM SPY calls and sell slightly OTM TLT put. At the moment with SPY near all time high and TLT really low, SPY will rather correct to the downside and TLT probably to the upside. This way you can generate income during sideways markets.
Gold or currencies are too impredictable for me. You can never know which side they go.
- Deshan WoodsParticipant05/10/2017 at 11:49 pmPost count: 7
According to a CNBC article published today:
Legendary investor Bill Miller is killing it again, thanks to a clever bet on Apple
The legendary portfolio manager’s Miller Opportunity Trust mutual fund is up a gaudy 13.9 percent this year, easily beating the S&P 500’s return of 7.8 percent including dividends, according to Morningstar. That puts the $1.4 billion security in the rating firm’s top 1 percentile in its category.
3 LI strategies are higher than that right now. Welcome to the very top.
- R D HATHCOCKParticipant07/04/2017 at 12:01 pmPost count: 3
I am curious to know if the SPXS-TMV strategy would occasionally be selected over SPXL-TMF. Looking at the quant trader,
it seems to perform about the same overall.
If a longer trend develops towards a gradual climb in Fed rates, what are your thoughts on TMV being a better overall performer–as TMF was during 30+ years of falling rates?
- Alexander HornKeymaster07/11/2017 at 2:07 pmPost count: 263
Hi RD, just working on an article about SPXS-TMV, will be out next two weks. You´re right, no big difference between going long SPXL/TMF or shorting the short SPXS/TMV pair, some 6-8 points p.a. from harvesting the roll-losses of the leveraged shorts. Interesting enough, these vary a lot from year to year, so it´s not a “guaranteed” win to short.
Be careful when comparing the two, we´re long TMF or shorting the short TMV, so both are at the end long positions and would suffer in a similar manner from a continued hike – no difference there.
- Doug07/12/2017 at 9:07 amPost count: 0
Thanks. However, I am comparing LONG SPXS-TMV, not shorting them. The thought is that there is now an upward bias on long term treasury bonds that likely will last. All of the historical data are generated after interest rates peaked in 1981. They have been in an overall decline until last year, when the FED first raised them.
I find that TMF is quite a high risk item in this environment. I have build a strategy that goes between either the SPXL-TMF or SPXS-TMV. Right now, it is selecting the SHORT version. It has since the election of 2016.
However, I am not an expert and may well be missing something–so before I apply that strategy, I would like your advice/comments on this strategy.
- Alexander HornKeymaster07/12/2017 at 10:37 amPost count: 263
Hi Doug, when going long TMV, e.g. short bonds there are two things to consider:
– Bonds have historically a negative correlation with equities, and the historically have peaked in crisis times, e.g. when equities fall. Shorting TMV will further add to the downswings of the rest of your equity portfolio, and you loose the hedge we´re normally are looking for.
– In addition you´ll loose from the daily roll costs of these leveraged ETF, which is roughly a 6-8% p.a. Same as TMF, but there the correlation plays in your favour.
Combining a long SPXL/TMF with a long SPXS/TMV might work if you choose a shorter look-back, probably in the 20 days range, to catch the short term equity moves as a mean reversion. QuantTrader will tell you, and please share your findings with the audience.
I just doubt whether long term it´s worth loosing the hedging properties of a long bonds position to benefit from the anticipated rate hike- which has been moderate compared to the expectation of the dooms-day sayers.
- Greg07/07/2017 at 1:47 amPost count: 0
As of 07/06/2017 the 3x universal strategy shows positive return since its entry on 6/30/2017, but both SPXL and TMF are down for this period. Question: Had the strategy switched its allocation to different symbols?
- Alexander HornKeymaster07/11/2017 at 1:01 pmPost count: 263
Hi Greg, probably the table had not been updated yet after the close when you looked at it – that´s done over night. Currently the strategy is down 2.8% since month-end, see here: https://logical-invest.com/portfolio-items/3x-leveraged-universal-investment-strategy/. We only switch once a month, so no change in allocations.
Strategy: 3x leveraged Universal Investment Strategy Alexander Horn 2017-03-03T15:29:53+00:00