My Market Risk Indicator is signalling today. That means I add a mid term volatility hedge to the Volatility Hedged portfolio and the Long / Short hedged portfolio. The Long / Cash portfolio goes 100% to cash. The portfolio allocations are as follows: Long / Cash portfolio: 100% cash Long / Short hedged portfolio: 50% long high beta stocks and 50% long mid term volatility (or an ETF like VXZ or VIXM) Volatility Hedged portfolio: 50% long and 50% long mid term volatility (or an ETF like VXZ or VIXM) As always, use your own judgement and personal risk preferences to allocate your own portfolios. And, of course, never trade a financial instrument that you don’t understand.
On Friday my market risk indicator cleared its warning. The core market health indicators are usually much slower to clear so they’re still mostly negative. The majority of them look like they’ll take several weeks and maybe a month or two to clear. This indicates that we’re probably in for more sideways consolidation, but not likely to decline significantly from here. The new portfolio allocations are as follows: Long / Cash portfolio: Long 20% and Cash 80% Long / Short portfolio: Long 60% high beta stocks and short the S&P 500 Index (SPX) 40% (or use an ETF like SH) Volatility Hedged portfolio: Long 100% As always, use your own risk tolerance in structuring your portfolio.
My market risk indicator is warning again this week. That means a mid term volatility hedge on all the portfolios or going to cash. Below are the current portfolio allocations. Long / Cash portfolio: 100% cash Long / Short Hedged portfolio: 50% long and 50% hedged with mid term volatility (an ETF/ETN like VXZ) Volatility Hedged portfolio: 50% long and 50% hedged with mid term volatility. My core market risk indicators are also dropping fairly quickly.
My market risk indicator finally cleared its warning that was issued on 2/9/2018. We didn’t get the further downside that I expected (based on the odds), but our longs performed well enough that it blunted the loss from the volatility hedge (which held up relatively well due to a volatile month). My portfolio suffered a .6% loss. I feel it’s money well spent to sleep well at night when the market is in question. Most of my core market health indicators have strengthened since the last update. However, my core measures of risk still haven’t recovered. This measure is longer term in nature than my market risk indicator so it tends to take longer to clear. With everything added up the portfolio allocations are now as follows. Long / Cash portfolio: 80% long and 20% cash Long / Short portfolio: 90% long high beta stocks and 10% short the S&P 500 Index (or use an ETF like SH) Volatility Hedged portfolio: 100% long
I mentioned on Monday that my market risk indicator was warning. It still hasn’t cleared and it doesn’t look like it has a chance to clear by the end of the day. As a result, I’m calling a warning signal. Market risk warnings come in two varieties. Ones that last for only a week or two (a false signal) and ones that last for several months (a significant correction or bear market). This signal has the odds tilted to more downside because the Bullish Percent Index (BPSPX) is below 60. When it is below 60 and my market risk indicator is warns the odds increase substantially (3 times more likely) that we’ve still got at least another 10% drop from here before we make an ultimate low. This isn’t a prediction, merely stating the odds based on history. This signal changes the portfolio allocations as follows: Long / Cash portfolio: 100% cash Long / Short portfolio: 50% long high beta stocks and 50% long midterm volatility (an ETF/ETN like VXZ or VIXM) Volatility
As of this moment, my market risk indicator is signalling. It requires a Friday close with all four components signalling to create a market risk warning. So we’ll have to wait till Friday before we panic with the rest of the market. Here are a couple of things I’m seeing. Two of the four components of my market risk indicator are very oversold. My core market health indicators are still all positive My core market health indicators are falling from overbought levels to more reasonable levels My conclusion is that the selling is due merely to fear and not concern over core market health. It looks to me like everyone knew that the market was overbought and now they’re all taking profit at the same time. As noted above, don’t panic until we see what the market looks like on Friday.
We’ve got an interesting situation in the markets where perceptions of risk are extremely low, but my core indicators show an unhealthy market profile. This suggests that the unhealthy internals are most likely a result of rotation, and not the start of a longer term top. Of course, that’s not to say that mere rotation can’t turn into mass selling. But, for now, I’m not too concerned. One of the reasons I’m not to concerned is that even with the Nasdaq 100 (NDX) weakness over the past week, the percent of stocks in the S&P 500 Index (SPX) above their 200 day moving average is rising. This tells me that investors are rotating into beaten down stocks. This isn’t the way tops are usually made. Tops are made when leaders and beaten down stocks are being sold at the same time. As I mentioned above, my core indicators are showing weakness in underlying technical support. Most notably, is the market quality category which fell below zero this week. That changes our
The strong rally this week cleared the warning from my market risk indicator. In addition, my core measures of market health shot strongly upward. The fear evidenced last week has been replaced by expectations of new highs going into the end of the year. One item of note is that my core measures of market risk are still negative. They will probably take another week or two to clear. That puts the new portfolio allocations as follows: Volatility Hedged portfolio: 100% long Long / Cash portfolio: 80% long and 20% cash Long / Short portfolio: 90% long high beta stocks and 10% short the S&P 500 Index (or use the ETF with symbol SH) Conclusion Nervousness ahead of the election caused enough fear in the market that my market risk indicator warned last week. We hedged with that fear against the chance that it turned to panic. The panic didn’t materialize and now the market is trying to normalize itself. As a result, we go back to normal portfolio allocations
As I noted yesterday, my Market Risk Indicator is issuing a warning. As a result, the portfolio allocations change as follows. Long / Short portfolio: 50% long high beta stocks and 50% hedged with mid term volatility (VXZ) Long / Cash portfolio: 100% cash Volatility Hedged portfolio: 50% long and 50% hedged with mid term volatility (VXZ) As I mentioned last week, the bullish percent index is below 60% which significantly increases the risk of another 10% decline from the current level. My core measures of market health had the economy improving and moving above zero this week, while the core measures of risk fell below zero. Conclusion We have a market risk warning in place. It’s time to aggressively hedge until the current storm passes.
Just a heads up. My core measures of risk have gone negative and my Market Risk Indicator is warning. If this condition persists into Friday afternoon then we’ll be adding an aggressive hedge to the Volatility Hedged portfolio and the Long/Short portfolio (using mid term volatility). The Long/Cash portfolio allocation will go to 100% cash. I’ll do a full post tomorrow before the close.