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How Good are Vanguard’s LifeStrategy Funds? Much Better Returns From Vanguard Funds with iM’s (MAC-Vang)20/80

“Studies have shown that your asset allocation has a bigger impact on your long-term returns than any specific fund you pick. So why not pick a Vanguard LifeStrategy Fund that has asset allocation built in?” This is the opening statement on a Vanguard web-page, which also lists other potential benefits of investing in such a fund. The historic performance of the LifeStrategy Moderate Growth Fund was analyzed from Jan-2000 onward, and it is very clear from the analysis that this was a high risk investment with low returns. An alternative investment model with Vanguard funds is proposed which would have produced much higher returns with less risk.

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iM’s Improved Floor-Leverage Rule with Put Option Insurance: A Low-Risk Investment Strategy with a 5.7% Safe Withdrawal Rate

iM’s Improved Floor-Leverage Rule, a low-risk investment strategy for retirement with a high 5.7% withdrawal rate, uses market timing to avoid large losses of the Surplus Portfolio, and additionally uses a strategy to guard the Surplus Portfolio against black swan events, e.g. the 1987 stock market crash, by buying put options.

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More Retirement Income with iM’s Improved Floor-Leverage Rule: 6.5% Safe Withdrawal Rate

The original Floor-Leverage Rule for Retirement, as proposed by Scott and Watson, calls for two parallel investments. The first one is to establish a low risk Spending Floor Portfolio with 85% of one’s funds. The second, the Surplus Portfolio, is

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Estimating Stock Market Returns to 2020 and Beyond: Update July 2014

About two years ago evidence was presented that a major bull market may have commenced in 2009. Additionally, a statistical analysis of the historic data of the S&P Composite presented in an Aug-2012 article and Jan-2014 update thereto supported this finding. Since August 2012 the S&P500 has now gained a real 40% to the end of June 2014. So what further gains can we expect, if any?

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Minimum Volatility Stocks: Better Tax Efficient Returns also during Rising Markets

Minimum volatility ETFs should provide exposure to stocks with potentially less risk. They track indexes that try to capture the broad equity market with a reduced amount of volatility, seeking to benefit from what is known as low-volatility anomaly. Consequently

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Backtesting the MAC-System – How Long is Long Enough?

Most of us entrust our savings to financial organizations in the belief that this will provide us with better investment results than we could have achieved ourselves. These companies advocate a buy-and-hold strategy of bond- and stock funds, charge fees, and usually perform poorly. A convenient way to improve on buy-and-hold and to do better than financial organizations is to periodically switch one’s investment from stocks to bonds and vice versa as indicated by the Moving Average Crossover MAC-system.

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Hedging Best(SPY-SH), Best Combo3, Best(SPY-Cash) or SPY with the Best(Short) Large-Cap

Demonstrating the effect of hedging by using various percentages of the long portfolio value. The simulation is for the period Jan-2-2000 to April-1-2014.

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iM-Best(Short) Large-Cap System

This model is intended to be used hedging long market exposure, not as a stand-alone model. It periodically holds a maximum of 5 short positions of large-cap stocks. The model was backtested from Jan-2-2000 to May-4-2014 on the Portfolio123 simulation platform as a stand-alone-model and would have provided an annualized average return of 26.5% with a max drawdown of -22.7% over this period.

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iM-Best(XIU-Cash) Market Timing System for Canada

This model uses the signals from the iM-Best(SPY-SH) Market Timing System, substituting the Canadian ETF XIU for SPY and switches between XIU  and Cash instead of SH.  XIU tracks the S&P/TSX 60 Index and currency is Canadian Dollar. We calculated

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Is the TIAA Real Estate Account about to Roll Over?

The TIAA Real Estate Account, despite showing good returns over the last four years, is a typical example of a fund with disappointing performance over the longer term. In order to maximize one’s returns one has to know when to enter and exit the fund. My analysis shows that TIAA Real Estate may peak in the second half of 2014 which would provide an early indication to reduce one’s exposure. A firm sell signal would arise when its 1-year rolling return moves below 0%.

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Gold: A Coppock Buy Signal for March 2014

The modified Coppock indicator will produce a buy signal for Gold within a few weeks. This is the result of various projections using random numbers between -$20 and +$30 and -$30 and +$20 for the weekly change of the gold

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iM’s BCIw: A Weeks to Recession Indicator

Economic indices, each a combination of a different set of economic data, often signal contradictory states of the economy.   Not surprisingly, many prominent analysts relying on these indices have made incorrect forecasts.  To aid recession forecasting, we now introduce the

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Is there a Best Time of Day to Trade?

As the popularity of investing according to computerized algorithms increases, the question “When is it best to trade?” arises. Each investor has a different answers and opinion when it is best to trade. We approach this subject analytically to find a mathematical generated answer that is void of any emotions.

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iM-Best Combo3: Best(SPY-SH) + Best1(Sector SPDR) + Best(SSO-TLT)

Using our three ETF models, Best(SPY-SH), Best1(Select SPDR) and Best(SSO-TLT) equal weighted in a combination model, we demonstrate that the combo would have produced high annualized returns of 34.3% with a low drawdown of -12.9% and low volatility. Additionally, due to the very high liquidity of its component ETFs, the combo could support a huge portfolio size.

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iM-Best(SSO-TLT) Switching System

This model switches between SSO (ProShares Ultra two times daily S&P500 ETF) and TLT (iShares 20 Plus Year Treasury Bond ETF) depending on market direction. Using a web-based trading simulation platform and only market timing buy and sell rules in the algorithm, then this model would have produced an average annual return of about 38% from January 2000 to end of December 2013.

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Estimating Stock Market Returns to 2020 and Beyond: Update January 2014

A major bull market may have commenced in 2009 for which evidence was presented in various 2012 commentaries. Since August 2012 the S&P 500 has gained a real 30% to the end of 2013. So what further gains can we expect?

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iM-Best9(Russell 1000) – Large-Cap Portfolio Management System

This model invests in highly liquid large-cap stocks selected from those making up the Russell 1000 Index which represents the large-cap segment of the U.S. equity universe. When adverse stock market conditions exist the model reduces the size of the stock holdings by 50% and buys the -1x leveraged ProShares Short S&P500 ETF (SH). It produced a simulated survivorship bias free average annual return of about 53% from Jan-2000 to end of Nov-2013.

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The Ultimate Death Cross – One Year Later

In July 2012 Albert Edwards, the closely followed investment strategist at Société Générale, warned that the S&P 500 was “on the verge of an ultimate death cross,” foretelling imminent major losses for the stock market, with the S&P 500 possibly

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iM-Combo2: A Small-Cap Model in Combination with iM-Best(SPY-SH)

Using a third party small-cap model from the web-based trading simulation platform in combination with our iM-Best(SPY-SH), we demonstrate the benefits of combining this model with iM-Best(SPY-SH), these include a reduced volatility, constant positive rolling returns, and high annualized returns

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iM-Combo5: Large-Cap Models in Combination with iM-Best(SPY-SH) and iM-Best1(Sector SPDR)

Using 3 large-cap models from the web-based trading simulation platform in combination with Best(SPY-SH) and Best1(Sector SPDR), we demonstrate that the combination would have produced very high positive rolling returns and also high annualized returns with low drawdowns and low volatility.

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