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Simplified Offensive, Defensive and Risk Mode Identification Momentum Strategy

February 22, 2023 • Posted in Momentum Investing, Strategic Allocation

Can investors achieve attractive asset class momentum strategy performance by applying mixed-lookback interval momentum to different risk-on (offensive) and risk-off (defensive) sets of exchange-traded funds (ETF), and to a separate risk mode identification ETF? In their February 2023 paper entitled “Dual and Canary Momentum with Rising Yields/Inflation: Hybrid Asset Allocation (HAA)”, Wouter Keller and Jan Willem Keuning present a simplification of the prior Bold Asset Allocation strategy. This Hybrid Asset Allocation strategy consists of the following baseline asset universes and rules, with a single asset momentum metric (equal-weighted average return over the past 1, 3, 6 and 12 months):

  • When TIP momentum is positive (negative), use the offensive (defensive) mode.
  • When in offensive mode, hold the equal-weighted four of SPY, IWM, VWO, VEA, VNQ, DBC, IEF and TLT with the strongest momentum, except replace any of the top four with non-positive momentum by the one of BIL and IEF with the strongest momentum for crash protection.
  • When in defensive mode, hold the one of BIL and IEF with the strongest momentum.

They reform the portfolio monthly, assuming constant 0.1% 1-way trading frictions. Using modeled monthly total returns prior to ETF inception and actual monthly total returns after inception for each specified ETF during December 1970 through December 2022, they find that: (more…)

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