Blog Archives

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)

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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.

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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.

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The iM Composite Timer Gold-Stocks-Bonds

  • This model uses the rules of the iM-Gold Timer and the iM-Composite Market Timer to signal periodic investments in gold, stocks and bonds.
  • From Jan-2000 to Jan-2017 the Gold Timer signaled eight gold investment periods totaling only 9.3 years, while for the remaining periods totaling 7.7 years the model would have been in cash.
  • During the “cash periods” the Composite Market Timer provides the signals when to invest in stock and/or bond ETFs. Bond ETFs include the ETF (XLU) are also selected according to the prevailing Market Climate Score (MC-Score) and a ranking system.

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The Long Leading Recession Indicator DAGS is signaling an oncoming Recession.

On January 20, 2017, our long leading recession indicator DAGS signaled an oncoming recession.

Based on past history a recession could start at the earliest in 6 months (July-2017), but not later than 28 months from now (May-2019). The average lead time to previous recessions provided by DAGS would have been 15 months.

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Forecasting Stock Market Returns with Shiller’s CAPE Ratio and its 35-Year Moving Average

  • Shiller’s Cyclically Adjusted Price to Earnings Ratio (CAPE ratio) is at 27.8, which is 11.1 above its long-term mean of 16.7, signifying overvaluation of stocks and low forward returns.
  • The alternative CAPE ratio methodology offered in this article references stock market valuation to a 35-year moving-average of the Shiller CAPE ratio instead of to the 1881-2016 fixed long-term mean.
  • The latest CAPE ratio predicts a 10-year annualized real return of only 1.5%, whereas the presented methodology forecasts 5.8%, similar to the long-term market trend expected real return of 5.4%.

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The iM Gold-Timer – Rev1

We have revised the iM Gold-Timer. The timer endeavors to signal long-term investment periods for Gold. It uses the SPDR® Gold Shares ETF: GLD. When not invested in GLD the model goes to 100% cash.

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Timing the Stock Market with the Shiller CAPE

  • The Shiller CAPE (cyclically adjusted price-earnings ratio) is typically regarded as a stock market valuation measure. When the CAPE is high stocks are supposed to be expensive, and vice-versa.
  • The CAPE itself is not a good stock market timer. However, the CAPE can indirectly be used for market timing by determining a Cycle-ID as formulated by Theodore Wong.
  • Our 1950-2016 backtest of the CAPE-Cycle-ID model, when switching between the S&P500 with dividends and the money market, showed an annualized return of 11.9%, versus 10.4% for buy-and-hold.

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Market Timing with ETFs SH and RSP: Using the iM-Composite & Standard Market Timers’ Rules

  • This market timing model integrates the iM-Standard Market Timer and the iM-Composite Market Timer.
  • This model switches between ETFs SH and RSP providing signals when to be short or long the stock market.
  • The model does not utilize Bond ETFs, and is therefore not directly affected by the potential risk of rising interest rates.
  • From 2001 to 2016 switching between SH and RSP provided significant benefits. This strategy would have produced an average annual return of 26.2% versus only 8.5% for buy&hold RSP.

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Composite Market Timing Increases Returns And Reduces Drawdown.

  • Reliance on a single market timer could be risky. The risk can be reduced with a composite timer who’s component timers use different, uncorrelated, financial and economic data.
  • From 2001 to 2016 switching between bonds and stocks using a composite timer would have produced an average annual return of 19.7% versus only 5.2% for buy & hold stocks.

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