Mojena Market Timing

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20 August 2017

Model at 77.1

BUY Signal on January 8, 2017

Strategy

Current Position

YTD Returns

Cash

Money Market (T-Bills)

+0.5%

Buy and Hold

100% S&P 500 (SPX)

+9.7%

Standard Timing

100% S&P 500 (SPX)

+8.2%

Aggressive Timing

150% long S&P 500 (SPX)

+9.0%

 

 

The timing model issues buy and sell trades (signals) based on a mathematical/statistical score that ranges within 0 and 100.  While on a buy signal a sell trade is triggered at 41 or below; during a sell signal a buy trade is issued at 55 or above. Scores inside the range 41-55 should be interpreted as “hold current position.”  The standard and aggressive strategies determine what is bought or sold when timing signals are given.  Signal date is Sunday; trades are based on next-day closing price, to conform to mutual fund mark to market rulesReturns include reinvested dividends.

Standard timing strategy… At a buy signal this strategy invests100 percent in the S&P 500 (SPX) index, until the next sell signal.  At a sell signal this strategy places the entire portfolio in a Money Market (MM) based on Treasury Bills, until the next buy signal.  This “all-or-nothing” buy-sell strategy is uncommon in practice, as most stock portfolios would be diversified across several stock classes while invested and would be reluctant to move all holdings; it’s used here to give a proper comparison to buying and holding the SPX.  In practice a portfolio would add to stock holdings (lower MM cash) when a buy trade is issued and would reduce stock holdings (raise MM cash) when implementing a sell trade.  The percentages in these changes would depend on individual preferences based on factors such as age, risk profile, net worth, tax consequences, and so on. In other words, do whatever you’re comfortable with given the information that the model has changed its signal… and to what extent you have confidence in the model. 

Aggressive timing strategy… At a buy signal this strategy leverages the SPX 150% long (1.5x), until the next sell signal.  At a sell signal this strategy places the entire stock portfolio in an inverse of the SPX (100% short or -1x), until the next buy signal.  In practice this approach would shift a portion of the stock portfolio to an ultra long fund for a buy trade and to a short fund for a sell trade.  See this CAUTION.  Please note: The aggressive strategy is very risky and should be practiced, if at all, with a small portion of the overall portfolio.

Keep in mind that any strategy that follows the model’s trades applies only to the stock portion of a portfolio.  Moreover, the model’s focus is the S&P 500, the benchmark index for performance.  Its exclusive use by the model’s portfolios is for comparative purposes, to judge the model’s performance.  Investment portfolios normally include various domestic and international combinations of stock size and investment style categories, as well as other asset classes such as bonds, real estate, precious metals, and commodities.  See a more detailed explanation of these options in the three FAQs starting with this one.

Click here for my own investments during buy and sell signals.

 

S&P 500 Index record high 2481 on 7 Aug 2017; pullback low 2085 on 4 Nov 2016.  Index now -2.2% under high and +16.3% above low.

Primary uptrend confirmed 15 Apr 2016 at 2081 from 1865 low on 12 Feb 2016; reconfirmed 77 weeks following low, at 2477 on 4 Aug 2017.  Now 2 weeks unconfirmed.

Operating strategy during buy signal for underweight stock portfolios: Buy dips, unless cautioned otherwise based on possible upcoming sell.

Pullback marks second week. Weakness the first week likely was due to the North Korean war scare.  This past week it was back to political chaos, from the President’s responses and aftermath to the Charlottesville event, to the disbanded business councils, to concerns over who would leave the administration next, all leading to a loss of confidence that the proposed market-friendly economic agenda regarding taxation and infrastructure spending would be enacted anytime soon, if at all.  Or maybe it’s because we simply can expect pullbacks in an ongoing bull market based on a complexity of noisy events with causations that are questionable.  Paying attention to and acting on these media-enhanced noisy daily and weekly events usually lead to longer-term portfolio damage.

The model eased back as technicals regarding trend, relative strength, and breadth show some erosion, but comfortably remains above its buy/sell bands. Perspective is useful given a very ordinary 2% or so dip.  Constructive uptrends and positive slopes and the model’s still encouraging assessment point to staying with the plan during a buy signal.  We do have an early warning in that the SPX pierced the 50-day trend (red line in the graph), but it would be far too early to conclude that the trends are rolling over.  See here for an excellent explanation of trend rollovers.  Keep an eye on this: It would be a good short- to intermediate-term sign if the SPX retakes the 50-day moving average over the coming week or two. 

Some say we are entering a long overdue correction (10% or more loss).  That may very well be, although stepping aside from a bull market while expecting an upcoming correction all too often does more damage from lost gains than any loss from the eventual correction itself.  A severe correction (15 to 20%) or deep and prolonged bear market (well above 20%) would be the exception, and would very likely get the model’s attention (sell signal), thereby limiting the damage to its performance.  See here how this bull market could end. In one way or another the model’s indicators reflect each of the author’s bullet points.

Those of us concerned by a seasonally-weak period into about mid-October, possibly enhanced by the upcoming debt-ceiling debate fireworks, or over possible negative market effects from external events, could ease back (ease back, not punt) on stock allocations and add to diversification, consistent with personal risk tolerance.  Otherwise stay the course and even add to stock positions during pullbacks, while the model remains on a buy signal.

▼▼▼

Upcoming lost decade?

If so, maybe the live model will repeat its favorable performance during the last “lost decade” (2000-2009).

Lost Decade

 

YTD with dividends

Since switch signal, no dividends

Date

Model

Signal

SPX

Cash

Buy&Hold

Standard

Aggressive

DJI    

SPX  

Nasdaq   

Aug 20

77.1

Buy

2426

+0.5%

+9.7%

+8.2%

+9.0%

+9.0%

+6.9%

+12.4%

Aug 13

80.7

Buy

2441

+0.5%

+10.4%

+8.9%

+10.0%

+9.9%

+7.6%

+13.1%

Aug 6

90.0

Buy

2477

+0.5%

+12.0%

+10.4%

+12.4%

+11.1%

+9.2%

+14.8%

Jul 30

90.9

Buy

2472

+0.5%

+11.7%

+10.2%

+12.1%

+9.8%

+9.0%

+15.2%

Jul 23

91.4

Buy

2473

+0.4%

+11.7%

+10.2%

+12.2%

+8.5%

+9.0%

+15.5%

Jul 16

87.1

Buy

2459

+0.4%

+11.0%

+9.5%

+11.3%

+8.8%

+8.4%

+14.1%

Jul 9

83.8

Buy

2425

+0.4%

+9.5%

+8.0%

+9.0%

+7.7%

+6.9%

+11.2%

Jul 2

83.3

Buy

2423

+0.4%

+9.3%

+7.9%

+8.8%

+7.4%

+6.8%

+11.0%

Jun 25

84.6

Buy

2438

+0.4%

+10.0%

+8.5%

+9.8%

+7.6%

+7.5%

+13.3%

Jun 18

88.4

Buy

2433

+0.3%

+9.7%

+8.2%

+9.5%

+7.5%

+7.2%

+11.2%

Jun 11

86.2

Buy

2432

+0.3%

+9.6%

+8.1%

+9.4%

+7.0%

+7.2%

+12.2%

Jun 4

89.2

Buy

2439

+0.3%

+9.9%

+8.4%

+9.9%

+6.6%

+7.5%

+14.0%

May 28

90.1

Buy

2416

+0.3%

+8.8%

+7.3%

+8.3%

+6.0%

+6.5%

+12.3%

May 21

87.6

Buy

2382

+0.3%

+7.2%

+5.8%

+6.1%

+4.6%

+5.0%

+10.0%

May 14

91.6

Buy

2391

+0.2%

+7.6%

+6.1%

+6.7%

+5.1%

+5.4%

+10.7%

May 7

93.8

Buy

2399

+0.2%

+7.9%

+6.5%

+7.2%

+5.6%

+5.7%

+10.3%

Apr 30

94.8

Buy

2384

+0.2%

+7.2%

+5.7%

+6.2%

+5.3%

+5.1%

+9.3%

Apr 23

92.9

Buy

2349

+0.2%

+5.6%

+4.1%

+3.9%

+3.3%

+3.5%

+6.8%

Apr 16

91.3

Buy

2329

+0.2%

+4.6%

+3.2%

+2.6%

+2.8%

+2.6%

+4.9%

Apr 9

90.8

Buy

2356

+0.2%

+5.8%

+4.4%

+4.3%

+3.9%

+3.8%

+6.3%

Apr 2

90.8

Buy

2363

+0.1%

+6.1%

+4.6%

+4.8%

+3.9%

+4.1%

+6.9%

Mar 26

89.3

Buy

2344

+0.1%

+5.2%

+3.8%

+3.6%

+3.6%

+3.3%

+5.4%

Mar 19

92.5

Buy

2378

+0.1%

+6.7%

+5.2%

+5.9%

+5.2%

+4.8%

+6.7%

Mar 12

92.5

Buy

2373

+0.1%

+6.4%

+4.9%

+5.5%

+5.1%

+4.6%

+6.0%

Mar 5

95.9

Buy

2383

+0.1%

+6.8%

+5.4%

+6.2%

+5.6%

+5.0%

+6.1%

Feb 26

95.8

Buy

2367

+0.1%

+6.1%

+4.6%

+5.1%

+4.7%

+4.3%

+5.7%

Feb 19

94.2

Buy

2351

+0.1%

+5.3%

+3.9%

+4.1%

+3.7%

+3.6%

+5.5%

Feb 12

94.8

Buy

2316

+0.1%

+3.7%

+2.3%

+1.7%

+1.9%

+2.1%

+3.7%

Feb 5

89.8

Buy

2297

+0.0%

+2.8%

+1.4%

+0.5%

+0.9%

+1.3%

+2.4%

Jan 29

89.3

Buy

2295

+0.0%

+2.7%

+1.3%

+0.3%

+1.0%

+1.1%

+2.3%

Jan 22

85.4

Buy

2271

+0.0%

+1.6%

+0.2%

-1.2%

-0.3%

+0.1%

+0.4%

Jan 15*

71.1

Buy

2275

+0.0%

+1.7%

+0.3%

-1.0%

-0.0%

+0.3%

+0.8%

Jan 8*

66.4

Buy

2277

+0.0%

+1.7%

+0.0%

-1.7%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Jan 1*

50.5

Sell

2239

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

+8.4%

+5.2%

+4.2%

*Score from 2016 live model; Jan 22 is start of live 2017 model.

NOTE

The TimerTrac link at left is a free report provided by an independent company that tracks the performance of market timers. Note that the report does not account for dividends and their reinvestment, as we do, and as would be the case for reported returns in the media, thus showing lower returns for both buy-and-hold and the standard strategy during buy signals than those seen under the live performance table in our Reality Check page.  The difference over long time horizons can be significant, as reinvested dividends make up about 30% to 50% of total S&P 500 returns, depending on the chosen time period. 

 

Distribution
Copyright © 2017 Richard Mojena. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Richard Mojena at mojena.com. You may not alter or remove any graphics, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.  You may download or print one machine readable copy and one print copy per page from this site for your personal, noncommercial use only.

 

Disclaimer

Specific and personalized investment advice is not intended by this communication. Its contents are for the public record as a free public service. Information is based on the analysis of past data and assessments by the models. Future performance may not reflect past performance. Profitable trades are not guaranteed. No system or methodology ensures stock market profits. No guarantee is made regarding the reliability or accuracy of data. In other words, use this stuff at your own risk!

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