iMarketSignals – improve investment performance

We provide unbiased guidance to market direction. Our models can be classed into following  groups:

  • Leading recession indicators:
    • BCI is a Business Cycle Indicator optimised to identify a looming recession constructed from economic data series.
    • COMP is a recession indicator model constructed by combining third party leading indicators.
  • Buy and Hold investing. These models are macro by nature; trading signals from the models occur infrequently and are un-hedged – one does not have to trade constantly in and out of the markets.
    • MAC-US is a moving average crossover model for the S&P500.
    • MAC-AU is a moving average crossover model for the Australia All Ordinaries Index.
    • BVR is a bond market model based on mathematics alone.
    • Yield-Curve is a trend-following model.
    • GOLD is a rate-of-change trend-following model.
    • SILVER is a rate-of-change trend-following model.
  • Active weekly trading models based on a proprietary ranking system updated each week to generate un-biased and un-hedged buy- and sell-signals.
    • iM-BestX are weekly trading models based on the S&P 500, S&P1500 and Russell 1000 stock index series.
    • iM-Best(SPY-SH) is a market timing model, updated weekly on Sundays for the coming week.
    • iM-Best1(Sector SPDR) is a rotation system for the Select Sector SPDR® ETFs that divide the S&P500 into 9 sectors.
    • iM-Best(SSO-TLT) is a ETF switching system based on market timing.
    • iM-Best Combo3 is a combination model of Best(SPY-SH) + Best1(Sector SPDR) + Best(SSO-TLT), updated weekly on Sundays for the coming week.

The models are updated weekly and the charts depict the state of the various markets. They can be seen by registered/logged-in members.

The models have all been published. Before the models were available on the internet, weekly updates for the IBH, MAC, BVR and Yield-Curve were sent by email to subscribers for about two years – here are some of their comments:


This model and your fine work has been quite remarkable (and profitable). I have been enjoying your observations for quite some time. Job well done.
Edward Chrusciel

Your system looks pretty good. In fact, I was amazed by the high percentage winning trades and the very low drawdowns. I’ve never seen anything like that in a MA system.
Tom Swiatek

Regardless of which version one uses, it’s a powerful system. And it answers one of the most troubling worries that investors have. It efficiently gets them out of harm’s way when the market crashes.
Erik Conley

Thank you for your unique and excellent work. We will appreciate receiving your Modelling updates. Thanks!
Chuck Szkalak

The average investor reads the financial news and thinks that gives him an edge. That only tells him what everyone else knows and is worried about. We follow the excellent work of Georg Vrba, who has a top-rated coincident recession indicator as well as a successful stock/bond asset allocation model. Here is his most recent comment:  “My own composite short leading economic indicator, which has the  highest score of all indicators so far tested, does not support the notion of a recession anytime soon.” I listen to Georg, and you should too.
Jeffrey A. Miller, PhD, President NewArc Investments, Inc.

I took that S&P buy signal of yours with a little $50K futures contract and am very happy thank you.
Dwaine van Vuuren – CEO of PowerStocks

I have read and studied all your articles with interest. I have learned much from your perspectives and will continue to follow your work.
David Hamilton

Thank you for all your outstanding analysis. Let me say that I couldn’t agree more that data beats opinion.
Dave Lincoln

Georg Vrba asks whether the ECRI is still relevant. Great analysis and charts.
Jeffrey A. Miller, PhD, President NewArc Investments, Inc.


I very much liked the write up on your models, and if I may add these have a particular appeal and interest having been developed by a fellow engineer.
Paul Willis

Have seen so many manipulate data to fit their predetermined biases and love the way you methodically deconstructed the moving averages to debunk this one. It shows the difference between intellectual laziness and intellectual rigor which you fit to a tee.
Kuosen Fung, CFP®

Your work is really interesting and I’d love to receive your updates or any other information you publish. I honestly think your results indicate there is a way to time stock and bond market exposure. Most likely people will remain human and many will follow their “gut feel” or let fear or greed override any mathematical analysis. This is why your methods will most likely continue to work.
James Schwartz, CFP®

Georg Vrba, whose excellent work on recession forecasting has helped our readers, has two different market-timing methods. His most recent article explains that the next great bull market might already be here.
Jeffrey A. Miller, PhD, President NewArc Investments, Inc.

… as always love your analysis! Always eager for Friday’s just to receive your reports!
Jose R Barcelo

I agree with your viewpoint that mathematical models provide better guidance to market directions than financial experts. Thanks so much!
C.T. Wu, PhD in EECS

I just read your article on identifying recessions. Great work!
Richard G Greenwald, AAMS, CRPC

I appreciate using math to model financial behaviour and appreciate your good work.
Richard E. Hamrick, CFA®

This time it is perma-bear Albert Edwards warning investors about the “Ultimate Death Cross” taking the S&P 500 back to 666. Georg Vrba takes the analysis even further. He shows that Edwards’ prediction is almost impossible to accomplish if you actually do the math on the moving averages involved. In addition, he demonstrates that the current indicator conditions are actually bullish based on historical data.
Jeffrey A. Miller, PhD, President NewArc Investments, Inc.

I have great respect for your work and am grateful to be included on your list.
Marvin Snyder

I have your historical charts going back and it is great material. I appreciate your insights. Steve Wenstrup


I have been following your work for some time and have been very impressed.
Steve McCarthy, CPA, CFP®

I’m impressed that you provide this much analysis each week. Thank you for your insights. Your charts are beautiful & clear.
Brett Bowman

I am really impressed by your work and liked very much your last research on gold and silver. It’s good to see that you are expanding the scope of possible investments.
Nicolas Tabourdeau

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The iM-Minimum Drawdown Combo

In our continued effort to satisfy request for low drawdowns models with reasonable turnover and good returns we provide this model, which combines:

The combo showed a simulated 22.2% annualized return with a maximum drawdown of -7.7% when backtested from Jan-2000 to Apr-2017.

The iM-Low Turnover Composite Timer Combo

In an effort to satisfy request for low turnover models with low drawdowns and reasonable returns we provide this model, which combines:

  • the iM-Comp Mkt Timer Stocks/Bonds (VOE-BIV) based on the iM-Composite Timer (SPY-IEF) which holds only one ETF at any time (33% weight in the combo),
  • and the iM-Composite Mkt Timer(GLD&SCHP+VTV&VOE+BIV&LQD) based on the iM-Composite (Gold-Stocks-Bond) Timer which holds two ETFs concurrently (67% weight in the combo).
  • This combination model always holds two or three ETFs at any time for a minimum period of six weeks before any of them can be sold.

The combo showed a 17.6% annualized return with a maximum drawdown of -11.2% when backtested from Jan-2000 to Mar-2017 on the simulation platform Portfolio 123.

Improvements to the iM HiD-LoV-7 System

  • The system screens for high dividend, low volatility S&P 500 stocks yielding significantly more than the average yield of the index and which also have a low 3-yr beta.
  • Market timing rules related to our long-period backtest models, the MAC-US Timer, CAPE-Cycle-ID, and Inflation Timer have been incorporated into the model’s algorithm, and turnover has been modestly increased by introducing an additional sell signal based on volatility.
  • The 16.5 year backtest of the original iM HiD-LoV-7 System produced annualized return of about 22% with a maximum drawdown of -34%, whereas the improved model provided annualized return of about 25% with a maximum drawdown of -14% over the same backtest period. (Figure-3a)

Updated: Timing the Stock Market with the Inflation Rate

  • Stocks usually perform poorly when inflation is on the rise. Using the inflation rate, we developed a market timer according to two simple rules.
  • Switching according to the Timer signals between the S&P500 with dividends and a money-market fund would have provided from Aug-1953 to end of Jan-2016 and annualized return of 12.69%.
  • Over the same period buy-and-hold of the S&P500 with dividends showed an annualized return of 10.08%, producing about a quarter of the total return of the Timer model.

The MAC-US Timer – a Moving Average Crossover System of the S&P 500

  • Switching between stocks and bonds as signaled by a simple moving average crossover system of the S&P 500 – the MAC-US Timer – produces significantly higher returns than buy-and-hold stocks.
  • The model has been updated from Aug-1965 to Jan-2017, conservatively assuming that funds are placed in the money market when not in the stock market.

With reference to Section 202(a)(11)(D) of the Investment Advisers Act: We are Engineers and not Investment Advisers, read more ...
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