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Trend Following Plus Relative Sentiment for Stocks-Bonds Allocation

November 1, 2022 • Posted in Momentum Investing, Sentiment Indicators

Does combining a sentiment indicator with a trend following indicator improve performance of a stocks-bonds timing strategy? In his October 2022 paper entitled “The Complementarity of Trend Following and Relative Sentiment”, Raymond Micaletti investigates effects of combining the following trend following (TF) and relative sentiment (RS) indicators:

  • TF – at the end of each month switch to a broad U.S. stock market index (an aggregate bond index) when the prior-close stock market index crosses above (below) its 10-month simple moving average (SMA) strategy. This strategy is the best of six similar SMA strategies.
  • RS – each week update the equity allocation from 0% to 100% based on an equal-weighted combination of three prior-week inputs, two of which are driven by weekly Commitments of Traders reports and one of which is driven by monthly Sentix relative sentiment, with the balance of the portfolio in an aggregate bond index. Update the equity allocation only if it differs from the prior allocation by more than 10%.

The combined strategy (TFRS) is a 50-50 mix of TF and RS. He applies frictions of 0.04% to account for costs of both stock and bond index allocation changes. For interpretation of results, he focuses on nine times the equity index suffers a drawdown of at least 10% from an all-time high. Using daily U.S. equity market total returns and U.S. Treasury bill yields (for Sharpe ratio calculations) from the Kenneth French data library, daily levels of Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Total Return Index, weekly Commitments of Traders reports and the monthly Sentix economic outlook survey of institutional and individual investors during November 1994 through August 2022, he finds that: (more…)

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