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Update Portfolio Builder: Now including Universal Investment Strategy with 3x leverage

By request of several followers, we have now included the version with 3x leverage of the Universal Investment Strategy using synthetic SPXL and TMF data from 2002. Portfolio Builder now with leverage We're about to publish a full article on this exciting option for this weekend, but want to pre-alert you about this upcoming adition. While this is a very aggressive strategy with leverage, it blends very nicely with a 10%-20% allocation into a portfolio targeting Maximum annual return with a 10% or 20% volatility constraint. We have therefore also updated the optimized portfolios, and by another request included the MaxCAGR with volatility constraint of 20% and 25% volatility. Here a preview of the full backtest since 2002 of the version with leverage A visualization of the new portfolio options with blends of this strategy with leverage: And the timeseries of the synthetically constructed SPXL and TMF /3x leverage) since 2002 (both ETF have an inception date in 2009). We will explain the methodology of this more in detail in the upcoming post. Stay tuned for our next post, but review the portfolio options in our Portfolio Builder before, which now includes the version with leverage. A team of followers and us is working on an advanced offline Portfolio Builder, which offers additional features to optimize and customize your portfolios, as well as full daily return and equity data. This is still in development, but feel free to preview and join the team if interested. If you are new to our site, here an overview of our Universal Investment strategy: "The SPY-TLT Universal Investment Strategy (UIS) is one of our new core investment strategies. Probably the most basic of all rotation strategies, is the switching strategy between the S&P 500 US stock market (SPY) and long duration Treasuries (TLT). The [...]

2017-03-14T22:11:10+00:00 By |3 Comments

‘Hell on Fire’: The 3x leveraged Universal Investment Strategy

Summary: -Aggressive leveraged version of our previously published Universal Investment Strategy -Variable SPY-TLT allocations dynamically adapted to the market conditions. -45% annual return with a Sharpe Ratio of 1.3 since 2002.Due to its simplicity and low correlation to the S&P 500, there is a continued interest in the UIS version that uses 3x leveraged ETFs: ETF SPXL (Direxion Daily S&P 500 Bull 3X Shares ETF) and TMF (Direxion Daily 30-Year Treasury Bull 3x Shares ETF). Following the suggested nomenclature by Al from AAII SV - and to honor their interest, we call this version “Hell on fire”, which alludes to the high risk/return profile of the strategy. We will show ways to blend this strategy in a well-balanced and risk-optimized portfolio as to overcome the generally negative perception of private investors towards leveraged ETF.

2017-04-23T13:02:34+00:00 By |27 Comments

The SPY-TLT Universal Investment Strategy (UIS)

Introduction to the SPY-TLT Universal Investment Strategy (UIS) This paper discusses the simple but effective method of using adaptive allocations between stock market ETFs and Treasuries to assemble a simple yet smart Investment Strategy. This method has been developed to replace the 100% switching used in normal rotation strategies like the Maximum Yield Rotation and the Global Market Rotation strategies. The real world is just not a 100% “risk on” or “risk off” world. Most of the time, the best allocation is somewhere in between. The new method employed in this investment strategy can be adapted for nearly all types of rotation strategies and is significantly increasing the return to risk (Sharpe) ratio of such strategies. The SPY-TLT Universal Investment Strategy is very simple but also very effective. I am sure, such a simple investment strategy will nearly always perform better than any manual asset picking. The Universal Investment Strategy Probably the most basic rotation investment strategy, is the switching strategy between the S&P 500 US stock market (SPY) and long duration Treasuries (TLT). The SPY-TLT ETF pair is a very interesting investment strategy, because most of the time these two ETFs profit from an inverse correlation. If there is a real stock market correction, then Treasuries like TLT have always been the assets where money flows in, rewarding holders with nice profits. Now there are two possibilities to profit from this inverse correlation. The first is a switching strategy, which always switches to the ETF which had the best performance during the previous 3 months. This really simple switching strategy between TLT and SPY gave you a 14.8% return during the last 10 years, with twice the Sharpe ratio (return to risk) ratio of a simple SPY investment. Another strategy would be to invest 50% of your money in SPY [...]

2017-05-01T04:20:58+00:00 By |36 Comments

Harvesting Contango: How To Build An ETF Rotation Strategy With More Than 50% Annualized Returns

In this paper I want to explain the readers how the Maximum Yield Rotation Strategy of is built. This strategy harvests the so called Contango. Harvesting Contango by investing in inverse volatility This Strategy harvests contango and achieves very high returns investing in inverse volatility. From 2011 to today the annual performance was more than 70% per year. Year to date the performance is 40.9%. The Sharpe Ratio (Return/Risk) of 2.12 is a "DREAM VALUE" and I doubt that someone can show me a strategy with a higher ratio. The strategy invests in 4 different ETFs and harvests the contango: US Market (MDY - S&P MidCap 400 SPDRs) U.S. Treasury Bonds - (EDV Vanguard Extended Duration Treasury 25+yr) Volatility - (ZIV VelocityShares Inverse VIX Medium-Term) cash - (SHY Barclays Low Duration Treasury) only if Treasury correlation to SPY > -0.25 The Maximum Yield Strategy switches semi-monthly between these 4 ETFs. For the switching I use a ranking system like the one I explained in my SeekingAlpha article of the Global Market Rotation Strategy. The ranking system is also using 3 month historical performance and 20 day volatility. Using also volatility is quite important for harvesting contango, because it reduces the ranking of high volatile ETFs like ZIV. However, if you want to play such a rotation strategy by yourself, then you can also just look at the 3 month historical performance to benefit from contango. In this strategy the ZIV ETF is the most important performance driver. ZIV can only be backtested since 2011, so that I cannot present a longer backtest for the whole strategy, but the way the strategy is built, you can backtest parts of it for more than 10 years. Benefit from Contango The Maximum Yield Rotation Strategy is composed by several smaller sub-rotation strategies. Here is an overview of [...]

2017-04-28T16:11:29+00:00 By |2 Comments

A Global Market Rotation Strategy with an annual performance of 41.4% since 2003

The following ETF strategy is one of my favorite rotation strategies, which many of my friends, customers and I use now for some years. The Global Market ETF Rotation Strategy (GMR) The GMR Strategy switches between 6 different ETF on a monthly basis. The back tested return of this strategy since 2003 is quite impressive. Annual performance (CAGR) = 41.4% (S&P500=8.4%) Total performance since 2003 = 3740% (S&P500=134%) 69% of trades have positive return versus 31% with negative return You find the most recent performance table here. ETF These global markets and ETF are: US Market (MDY - S&P MidCap 400 SPDRs) Europe (IEV - iShares S&P Europe 350 Index Fund) Emerging Markets (EEM - iShares MSCI Emerging Markets) Latin America (ILF - iShares S&P Latin America) Pacific region (EPP - iShares MSCI Pacific ex-Japan) During market corrections I invest in: US Treasury Bonds (EDV - Vanguard Extended Duration Treasuries (25+yr)) Cash or SHY (SHY - Barclays Low Duration US Treasury) Selection of the strategy ETF For the design of a well performing rotation strategy, it is important that the selected ETF are not too volatile, show longer term visible trends and have a good market volume, so that they cannot be manipulated. They all should have more or less the same volatility. The 5 global markets ETF fulfill this condition. They all are capitalized enough, so that they cannot be manipulated in the short term. Why rotating? The 5 ETFs follow slightly different economic cycles and there are long periods where one market outperforms the other until it becomes so overpriced and investors begin to remove their money from that market in order to invest in other cheaper valued markets. Looking back 12 month, we see that the US market was the clear winner and the [...]

2017-04-28T16:09:53+00:00 By |7 Comments