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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Friday's Weekly Update
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Improvement Update to the iM-Best12(USMV)-Trader: Trading the Stocks of the iShares Minimum Volatility ETF – USMV

  • The iM-Best12(USMV)-Trader periodically invests in the 12 highest ranked stocks of USMV which currently holds 208 large-cap stocks.
  • This strategy, postulated in 2014, has produced from the end of Jun-2014 to end of Feb-2018 an annualized return of 16.1% versus 11.9% for USMV, and 11.5% for SPY.
  • We have now changed the trading rules and ranking system which we believe will provide improved returns with low turnover in the future.

In this 2014 article we showed that better returns than those from the ETF could be obtained by applying a ranking system to the stock holding of USMV (the universe), and investing periodically only in the 12 highest ranked stocks, bought and sold according to certain rules.
Read more >

Improvement Update to the iM-Best10(VDIGX)-Trader: Trading the Stocks of the Vanguard Dividend Growth Fund – VDIGX

  • The iM-Best10(VDIGX)-Trader periodically invests in the ten highest ranked stocks of VDIGX which currently holds 45 large-cap stocks.
  • This strategy, postulated in 2014, has produced from end of Jun-2014 to end of Feb-2018 an annualized return of 17.7% versus 9.9% for VDIGX, and 11.5% for SPY.
  • We have now changed the trading rules and ranking system which we believe will provide improved returns with low turnover in the future.

How Good is Vanguard’s new U.S. Momentum Factor ETF (VFMO)

  • As of Feb-24-2018 VFMO holds 637 Russell 3000 stocks, selected according to a rules-based screen for relatively strong recent performance and liquidity. They show a 1-year average return of 62%.
  • Using similar screening criteria we selected a portfolio of 639 stocks on Feb-24-2018 which had a 1-year average return of 71%. It holds 501 stocks in common with VFMO.
  • Similar screening rules selected 576 stocks on Feb-24-2017 which showed an average return of 105% over the preceding year, but 0% return over the following 6 months to Aug-24-2018.
  • Vanguard’s easily replicated selection process appears to be greatly influenced by survivorship bias. It is unlikely that VFMO will show a higher return than MTUM or SPY in the future.

Deja Vu 2007 — Is the Stock Market Overvalued? Estimating Returns to 2020 and Beyond, Update Jan-2018

  • Based on its historic trend, the stock market appears to be overvalued.
  • The Shiller Cyclically Adjusted Price to Earnings Ratio P/E10 is at high level of 33.5 (and P/E5 of 28.0), and a market correction is possible.
  • Similar conditions for the P/E5, and S&P-real’s position relative to the long-time trend, were observed only 3-times in the past: in 1937, 1998 and 2006.
  • The historic trend suggests a total probable real loss of about 15% over the next two years.
  • Analysts’ long-term forecasts of stock returns made 7 years ago appear to have been unrealistically low.

How to Avoid the Coming Bear Market Indicated by Shiller’s CAPE Ratio: Update December 2017

  • The Cyclically Adjusted Price to Earnings Ratio (CAPE ratio) is at 32.1, a very high level which signals overvaluation of stocks and low forward returns, according to Shiller.
  • This level was only exceeded twice in the last 136 years, in Sep-1929 and from Jul-1997 to Jul-2001, with market declines of 77% and 45% then recorded.
  • The Moving Average CAPE Ratio Methodology used here references stock market valuation to a 35-year moving average of the Shiller CAPE ratio instead of the 1881-2017 long-term average.
  • Based on the 35-year moving average methodology, historic market performance points towards continuing up-market conditions, possibly for a number of years.
  • To avoid the bear market, exit stocks when the spread between the 5-month and 25-month moving averages of S&P-real becomes negative and simultaneously the CAPE-Cycle-ID score is 0 or -2.

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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