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 [...]
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 [...]
Our special topic this month are 401k Strategies Logical Invest Investment Outlook February 2017 Our top 2017 strategies: The Maximum Yield strategy with 10.29% return. The NASDAQ 100 strategy with 9.88% return. The Leveraged Universal strategy with 3.96% return. SPY, the S&P500 ETF, returned 1.79%. Market comment: 2017 started up as a different type of year. Not just in politics. Despite the unprecedented political uncertainty, volatility in the SP500 dived this month causing our volatility harvesting strategy, Maximum Yield, to return more than 10% in just one month. Our Nasdaq 100 strategy returned 9.88%. All other strategies were positive for January but with smaller gains of 1-3%. The only negative strategy for the month was the Gold-USD strategy at -2.06%. We would like to take this opportunity to thank two of our longer-term subscribers for their feedback, comments and support: Deshan, comment posted January 29, 2017: "Looking back at these comments from many months ago gave me a chuckle. Looked like the world was gonna end and the LI strategies were going down too. I feel badly for those that gave up. I stayed the course and am very happy customer." Read more.... Richard, author at Richard's Corner. "The universe of options for a conservative retiree who would like both some performance as well as low risk in a simple, stand-alone investment has proven difficult to find...". Read more... We wish you a healthy and prosperous 2017 and good performance in your 401k Strategies Investment. Logical Invest, February 1, 2017 Strategy performance overview: Logical Invest Performance January 2017 Visit our site for daily updated performance tables. Special topic 401k Strategies Do you know that our Backtest Software QuantTrader allows you to build your custom 401k Strategy in only a couple of minutes? Mix your plan sponsor assets into custom Strategies, see our recent High Performance Strategies webinar. Contact us to learn more. [...]
Special topic this month: 401k Investments Logical Invest Investment Outlook January 2017 Our top 2016 strategies: The Maximum Yield strategy with 29.92% return. The Leveraged Universal strategy with 22.33% return. The NASDAQ 100 strategy with 21.54% return. SPY, the S&P500 ETF, returned 12.00%. Market comment: To put 2016 in perspective, we must go back to 2015 and remind ourselves how the rising dollar environment affected diversified investors. Most asset classes suffered through 2015. The S&P 500 stayed flat, long term Treasuries lost 2%, gold lost 9%, emerging markets shed 17% and USO, the crude oil ETF was down 44%. To make things worse, in August 2015 there was a sharp correction in equities which caused many "weak hands" to just exit the market. The first half of 2016, by contrast, rewarded anyone holding any of these assets.The second half proved far more challenging as rising yields expectations depressed bond prices, with TLT loosing 16% from July to December. Expecting higher yields in the U.S. can cause an appreciation in the U.S. dollar which in turn causes weakness in dollar denominated assets like gold and foreign equity. All of these assets gave back some of the early 2016 gains. Two major events, the Brexit vote and U.S. elections proved to be much less disruptive than expected. For 2016, The S&P 500 returned 12%, long term Treasuries gave up early gains to stay flat and gold gained 6%. Emerging markets gained a respectable 14%. All our strategies were positive for the year. Our 'non-equity' strategies did well outperforming their respective benchmarks: Our volatility harvesting strategy (MYRS) returned 29.92%. Our Bond rotation strategy (BRS) returned 13.62%, compared to 1% for TLT and 2.4% for AGG. Our Gold hedged strategy (Gold-USD) returned 15.74% compared to 6% for Gold. For 2017, in preparation for rising yields, we have adapted our strategies to rely less on the 30-year Treasury ETF (TLT). We introduced inflation [...]
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 [...]
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.
I just want to share a screenshot of the new backtest software, we have written in C# to calculate and backtest the new adaptive logical-invest strategies. This software can be used to calculate the variable allocation for the MYRS, GSRS and GMRS. Since 2017, QuantTrader, this backtest software is now also available for retail and institutional investors, see here. Our backtest software QuantTrader now available Below you see a 2 year graph showing the Global Market Rotation strategy backtest. The top chart just shows the 6 ETFs used in this strategy. The middle chart shows the allocation in percent of the ETFs for each month and the bottom chart shows the performance chart with EDV and SPY as benchmarks. It is interesting to see in the backtest, that normal years with strong trends like 2013 have long periods with the same ETFs. 2013 was dominated by MDY and IEV. IEV (Europe) is used as a replacement for FEZ, because it has a 10 year history. In 2014 we had many changes between the markets, but still this type of adaptive algorithm did manage this difficult situation much better than the old algorithm which could only switch 100% into one ETF. The backtest performance for these last 2 years 19.7% per year, with a Sharpe of 1.94. The old algorithm had 15% annual performance because of a good year 2013 but only a Sharpe ratio of 0.9. In general you can say that during years with long consistent trends, both algorithms will do well, but in years like 2014, where the really best allocation is somewhere in between stocks and Treasuries, a 100% rotation algorithm has problems to find the good ETF. Best regards Frank Grossmann Here more about the capabilities of QuantTrader: All you need for steering your investment [...]
An analysis of Harry Browne´s Permanent Portfolio and further enhancements towards: A Permanent Portfolio ETF Rotation Strategy employing Momentum, Mean Reversion, and Volatility Targeting. It’s not just cars. It’s investment strategies like the permanent portfolio, too. Vintage "all-weather" investment strategies are often simple, easy to execute and give amble 'out-of-sample' data. In other words one can see how they performed in life years after they have been proposed. And like the VW bug, they are "safe" choices. Tried and true. Can you imagine a 1965 VW running in the Autobahn? Although the essence counts for a lot, for the car to survive at today's highway speeds the tech needs to be up to date. So let’s take my favourite oldie and bring it up to speed: Harry Browne’s Permanent Portfolio. The Permanent Portfolio by Harry Browne From Investopedia: … Browne believed that the four asset classes would thrive in one of the four possible macroeconomic scenarios that exist. Stocks would thrive during periods of economic prosperity. Bonds would do well in deflation and acceptably well during periods of prosperity. Gold during periods of high inflation would rapidly increase in value as the only true defence against a deteriorating currency. Cash would act as a buffer against losses during a routine recession or tight-money episode, and would act well in deflationary times. So let’s see how the original permanent portfolio Harry Browne first published has performed. The original rules of the All Weather Portfolio: 25% in a stock market Index ( S&P 500) 25% in Treasuries 25% in Gold. 25% in Cash or similar Not bad. Annual return is 7.1% and maximum draw-down comes in at 17.84% since 1992. For a far more detailed analysis of the so-called fail-save investment or permanent portfolio or "PP" you can see Gestaltu's excellent "PP Shakedown" [...]
As you perhaps know I have invested all my money in my own strategies, and I and my family (the best wife of all and 4 nice children) are living from the return of these investments. So, I just cannot afford to lose much money in market corrections. Therefore I always try to improve the strategies to lower the risk of major losses through hedging. Timed Hedging The new "Timed hedging" is a major improvement of the rotation strategies. It increases the Return to Risk ratio of all strategies a lot. Timed hedging allows you to reduce the downside risk or the volatility of your investment by about 1/3rd without affecting the performance of the strategies. An excellent way to reduce the volatility or risk of your investment is hedging with Treasuries. Treasuries are most of the time negatively correlated to the stock market and still have a long term positive return. In my strategy emails, I will from now on always give an indication on how you can hedge the current strategy investment. There is a good possibility that 2014 will be a more choppy market than 2013. The 32% performance of the US stock market is just crying for some corrections, even if the economy outlook is still very positive. In a normal year like 2012 without tapering, the stock market (MDY – orange) and Treasuries (EDV – blue) have nearly perfectly mirrored charts. 2013 was a special year with extremely fast rising treasury yields during the summer period. This had the effect, that long duration ETFs like EDV lost up to 20% for the whole year. Since the beginning of 2014 treasuries show again a normal negative correlation of about -0.5 to the stock market (SPY). Since hedging with Treasuries is an extremely simple and effective [...]
In a previous post we introduced our new investment strategy, the BUG. There has been a lot of interest but also some concerns when it comes to using leverage. We are introducing a version of the BUG for non-leveraged accounts.In this version we allocate amongst 6 ETFs: SPY, TLT, GLS, CWB, TIP and PCY. Again as in the original strategy we use these heuristics: Timing (using a simple average rule), Volatility Targeting (we reduce exposure to more volatile ETFs), Momentum (we reduce the size of the worst performer and add to the rest). We don’t employ short term mean reversion and we only trade up to 4 assets.