Objective research to aid investing decisions

Value Investing Strategy (Strategy Overview)

Allocations for December 2022 (Final)
Cash TLT LQD SPY

Momentum Investing Strategy (Strategy Overview)

Allocations for December 2022 (Final)
1st ETF 2nd ETF 3rd ETF

Strategic Allocation

Is there a best way to select and weight asset classes for long-term diversification benefits? These blog entries address this strategic allocation question.

SACEMS, SACEVS and Trading Calendar Updates

We have updated monthly allocations and performance data for the Simple Asset Class ETF Momentum Strategy (SACEMS) and the Simple Asset Class ETF Value Strategy (SACEVS). We have also updated performance data for the Combined Value-Momentum Strategy.

We have updated the Trading Calendar to incorporate data for November 2022.

Preliminary SACEMS and SACEVS Allocation Updates

The home page, Simple Asset Class ETF Momentum Strategy (SACEMS) and Simple Asset Class ETF Value Strategy (SACEVS) now show preliminary positions for December 2022. The top three SACEMS allocations could change by the close. SACEVS allocations probably will not change.

Recall “SACEMS with Three Copies of Cash”.

Ranking SACEMS Assets with Unadjusted Returns

A subscriber, wondering if past returns unadjusted by dividends (capital gains/losses only) more accurately reflect relative momentum than dividend-adjusted returns, asked about performance of the Simple Asset Class ETF Momentum Strategy (SACEMS) with assets ranked by unadjusted returns. To investigate, we compare performance statistics for SACEMS Top 1, equal-weighted (EW) Top 2 and EW Top 3 portfolios with assets ranked by either dividend-adjusted (the tracked version of SACEMS) or unadjusted past returns. For both cases, portfolio performance data include reinvested dividends. Using monthly dividend-adjusted and unadjusted prices for SACEMS assets as available during February 2006 through October 2022, we find that:

Keep Reading

Substituting IYH for SPY in SACEMS

Based on high return correlation with the S&P 500 Index and strong past performance of the health care sector, a subscriber suggested replacing SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) with iShares U.S. Healthcare ETF (IYH) in the Simple Asset Class ETF Momentum Strategy (SACEMS). To investigate, we compare performance statistics for SACEMS Top 1, equal-weighted (EW) Top 2 and EW Top 3 portfolios with either SPY or IYH. Using monthly dividend-adjusted returns for baseline SACEMS assets and IYH as available during February 2006 through October 2022, we find that: Keep Reading

Using One Third 3X Funds for Some SACEMS Assets

A subscriber suggested implementing several Simple Asset Class ETF Momentum Strategy (SACEMS) asset class proxies with allocations consisting of one third triple-leveraged (3X) versions of the proxies and two thirds cash, thereby accruing the targeted risk asset returns plus some return on cash. Specifically:

Other SACEMS assets are unaffected, and the approach still uses past returns for SPY, IWM and TLT to determine winners. To investigate the suggestion, we compare performance statistics for SACEMS Top 1, equal-weighted (EW) Top 2 and EW Top 3 portfolios without (Base) and with (1/3 3X) the alternative strategy. Using monthly dividend-adjusted returns for Base SACEMS assets and for SPXL, TNA and TMF as available during July 2006 through October 2022, we find that: Keep Reading

SACEMS with Different Alternatives for “Cash”

Do alternative “Cash” (deemed risk-free) instruments materially affect performance of the “Simple Asset Class ETF Momentum Strategy” (SACEMS)? Changing the proxy for Cash can affect how often the model selects Cash, as well as the return on Cash when selected. To investigate, we test separately each of the following yield and exchange-traded funds (ETF) as the risk-free asset:

  • 3-month Treasury bills (Cash), a proxy for the money market as in base SACEMS
  • SPDR Bloomberg Barclays 1-3 Month T-Bill (BIL)
  • iShares 1-3 Year Treasury Bond (SHY)
  • iShares 7-10 Year Treasury Bond (IEF)
  • iShares TIPS Bond (TIP)

We focus on compound annual growth rate (CAGR) and maximum drawdown (MaxDD) as key performance metrics and consider Top 1, equally weighted (EW) EW Top 2 and EW Top 3 SACEMS portfolios. Using end-of-month total (dividend-adjusted) returns for the specified assets during February 2006 (except May 2007 for BIL) through October 2022, we find that:

Keep Reading

Simplest Asset Class ETF Momentum Strategy Update

A subscriber asked about an update of “Simplest Asset Class ETF Momentum Strategy?”, which each month holds SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) or iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond (TLT)  depending on which has the higher total return over the last three months, including a direct comparison to a portfolio that each month allocates 50% to Simple Asset Class ETF Value Strategy (SACEVS) Best Value and 50% to Simple Asset Class ETF Momentum Strategy (SACEMS) equal-weighted (EW) Top 2. We begin the test at the end of June 2006, limited by SACEMS inputs. We ignore monthly switching frictions for both strategies. Using monthly dividend-adjusted prices for SPY and TLT starting March 2006 and monthly gross returns for 50-50 SACEVS Best Value and SACEMS EW Top 2 starting July 2006 (limited by SACEMS inputs), all through October 2022, we find that: Keep Reading

Stocks-Bonds Return Correlation and Inflation

A subscriber asked whether the correlation between returns on stocks and bonds is elevated when inflation is above 5%, such that equities and fixed income offer little diversification protection. To investigate, we calculate the U.S. overall inflation rate from monthly values of the consumer price index over the prior year to find months with the inflation rate over 5%. We then compute monthly total return correlations for the following two pairs of funds when inflation is above or not above 5%:

  1. Fidelity Fund (FFIDX) and Fidelity Investment Grade Bond Fund (FBNDX).
  2. SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) and iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (LQD).

Using monthly dividend-adjusted prices for FFIDX and FBNDX since January 1980 and for SPY and LQD since July 2002, all through September 2022, we find that:

Keep Reading

SACEMS Equal-weighted 2-3 Portfolio

Referring to “SACEMS Top 1 Mean Reversion?”, a subscriber asked about the performance of the equal-weighted (EW) second and third ranked Simple Asset Class ETF Momentum Strategy (SACEMS) assets both as a standalone strategy and in 50-50 combination with the Simple Asset Class ETF Value Strategy (SACEVS) Best Value portfolio. This alternative portfolio (SACEMS EW 2-3) would avoid any reversion tendency of the top-ranked asset. To investigate, we compare performance statistics for SACEMS EW 2-3 to those for the baseline Top 1, EW Top 2 and EW Top 3 portfolios. We also compare performance statistics for the 50-50 SACEVS Best Value-SACEMS EW 2-3 portfolio to those for 50-50 SACEVS Best Value-SACEMS EW Top 2 and 50-50 SACEVS Best Value-SACEMS EW Top 3 portfolios. Using monthly returns for SACEMS winners and for SACEVS Best Value during July 2006 through September 2022, we find that: Keep Reading

Are Target Retirement Date Funds Attractive?

Do target retirement date funds, offering glidepaths that shift asset allocations away from equities and toward bonds as target dates approach, safely generate attractive returns? To investigate, we consider seven such mutual funds offered by Vanguard, as follows:

We consider as benchmarks SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY), iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (LQD) and both 80-20 and 60-40 monthly rebalanced SPY-LQD combinations. We look at monthly and annual return statistics, including compound annual growth rate (CAGR) and maximum drawdown (MaxDD). Using monthly total returns for SPY, LQD, three target retirement date funds since October 2003 and four target retirement date funds since June 2006 (limited by Vanguard inception dates), all through September 2022, we find that:

Keep Reading

Login
Daily Email Updates
Filter Research
  • Research Categories (select one or more)