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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iM-Trading Models:


Consumer Sentiment And The Cyclically Adjusted Risk Premium Work Together As A Profitable Stock Market Timer

  • Consumer Sentiment, when expressed as the difference in return of the Consumer Staples- and the Consumer Discretionary sectors, can provide risk-on and risk-off signals for equity investment.
  • Also a reasonably reliable risk indicator is the Cyclically Adjusted Risk Premium (CARP), defined as the inverse of the Shiller CAPE Ratio (CAPE) in percent minus the 10-year note yield.
  • The Consumer Sentiment Timer can be improved by including the value of the CARP in its rules to provide more profitable risk-on and risk-off signals for equity investment.
  • From 5/1/1999 to 10/15/2021 the Consumer Sentiment & CARP Timer, when accordingly switching between ETFs SPY and IEF, would have produced 18.5% annualized return with a maximum drawdown of -27%.

Consumer Staples/Discretionary Spending As A Reliable And Profitable Stock Market Timer

  • The difference in return of the Consumer Staples- and the Consumer Discretionary sectors can provide risk-on and risk-off signals for equity investment.
  • Four time series sets are used: ETFs XLP & XLY, Portfolio 123 Specialty SP1500 Consumer Staples & Consumer Discretion, Aggregate Series Non-Cyclical & Cyclicals, and ETFs RHS & RCD.
  • Investment in equities is signaled when the 15 week return of the discretionary sector outperformed the staples sector’s return.
  • From 5/1/1999 to 10/1/2021 this strategy, when accordingly switching between ETF SPY and ETF IEF, would have produced a 14.9% annualized return with a maximum drawdown of -17%.

The iM-(3 pos SuperCombination+ModSum) Timer Combo for Positive Yearly Returns with Low Drawdown

  • This strategy combines the iM-3 Position SuperCombination Timer and the iM-ModSum/YieldCurve [(SPY-IEF) – GLD] Timer models equally weighted.
  • A 2000-2021 backtest shows that this combination strategy would have outperformed the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY), showing an annualized return of 23.9% versus 7.2% and with a maximum drawdown of 15.7% versus 55.2% for SPY, respectively.
  • The backtest also shows that this combination would have since 2000 produced only positive calendar year returns and would also have outperformed SPY over each calendar year.

The Overvalued S&P 500 Signals Low 10-Year Forward Returns: Update 8/1/2021 

  • The average of S&P 500 for July 2021 was 4364 (previous month 4238). This is 1894 points higher than the long-term trend value of 2470.
  • The current percentage difference of S&P 500 level relative to the current long-term trend level is 77%, a value not exceeded in the recent past since 2001.
  • The Shiller Cyclically Adjusted Price to Earnings Ratio (CAPE) is at a level of 37.6. That is 50% higher than its 35-year moving average (MA35), currently at 25.1.
  • The CAPE-MA35 ratio is 1.50, forecasting a 10-year annualized real return of about 3.9%. Should the CAPE-MA35 ratio increase further, then 10-year forward returns will be even lower.
  • The historic long-term trend indicates a 10-year forward real annualized return of only 0.7%.

Beating the S&P 500 with Fixed Income ETFs alone

  • This model only holds fixed income asset class ETFs, never equity. It significantly out-performs the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) over longer periods by strategically switching holdings for risk-on and risk-off situations.
  • It uses three previously published market timing algorithms, the ModSum Timer, the YieldCurve Timer, and the Cyclically Adjusted Risk Premium (CARP) to define risk-on, risk-off, and hedging periods.
  • During risk-on periods, as indicated by the ModSum Timer and the CARP, the model holds the SPDR Bloomberg Barclays Convertible Securities ETF (CWB).
  • During risk-off periods the model switches to iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT).
  • Near, or during recession periods, as indicated by the YieldCurve Timer, the model is hedged with the iShares 7-10 Year Treasury Bond ETF (IEF), irrespective of the risk situation.

The strategy described here demonstrates that contrary to the accepted believe investing in fixed income can produce superior returns to equity investments.  This model uses three previously published market timing algorithms to define risk-on, risk-off, and hedging periods.
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