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Core Indicators Not Impressed

150731markethealth

My core market health indicators weren’t impressed by this week’s rally. All of them fell in the face of a rising S&P 500 Index (SPX). This isn’t an encouraging trend. During the month of July as the market traded sideways in a 5% range my core indicator categories have broken down one after another. This week my measures of market strength fell below zero which is changing the allocations in the core portfolios. The new allocations are as follows. Long / Cash portfolio: 20% L0ng and 80% Cash Long / Short portfolio: 60% Long and 40% Short the S&P 500 Index Below is a chart with the portfolio changes over the past year. Green is adding exposure / reducing a hedge. Yellow represents adding a hedge or raising cash. Red represents a market risk warning where I use an aggressive hedge (with put options or a product that benefits from rising volatility). Fortunately price hasn’t broken yet and as a result market participants are comfortable keeping core measures of risk

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Core Portfolios Getting Cautious

150724MarketHealth

Over the past week most of my core market health indicators fell. Most notable is my measures of the economy which have gone negative. As a result, the core portfolios are adding a larger hedge or raising cash. Below are the current core portfolio allocations. Long / Cash: Long 40% – Cash 60% Long / Short: Long 70% – Short the S&P 500 Index 30% My market risk indicator currently has two of four indicators warning, but the other two a long way away from a signal. It appears that people aren’t too concerned about the current dip. In the absence of any risk event (i.e. Greece, Ebola, etc.) my risk indicator generally won’t signal without serious price deterioration. As a result, the Volatility Hedge stays long during “normal” consolidation periods. It is currently 100% long and I expect it to stay that way unless we see a steeper decline ensue. Below is a chart with changes to the core portfolio allocations over the past year. Green lines represent adding

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Decision Time

150710MarketHealth

We end this week in a critical situation. My core indicators were all damaged during the high volatility moves both up and down this week. Core measures of risk and trend have now gone negative. The measures of the economy are close to going negative and market quality and strength aren’t far behind. As a result the core portfolios are raising cash and or adding a hedge. The new core allocations are as follows. Long / Cash: 60% Long and 40% Cash Long / Short: 80% Long stocks I believe will out perform in an uptrend — 20% short the S&P 500 Index (SPX) My market risk indicator hasn’t signaled yet so the volatility hedge will remain 100% Long. So, what’s an investor to do? Follow the core portfolios or the volatility hedged portfolio? The answer lies in your risk tolerance. The volatility hedged portfolio is designed to ride out most dips in the market and only hedge when the odds for a steep decline rise. The core portfolios are

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Portfolio Allocation Changes Likely

Just a quick note today about my core indicators. Measures of risk and trend have gone negative. Core measures of the economy, market quality, and strength are very close to going negative. If the situation isn’t repaired by Friday our core portfolios will have allocation changes that will result in raising cash and/or adding a short of the S&P 500 Index (SPX). The most likely scenario is that the core portfolios will be roughly 60% exposed to the market. Either with 40% cash or 80% long positions and 20% short positions. A continued decline into Friday would most likely result in more cash and/or hedges. The volatility hedge relies on my market risk indicator. It hasn’t warned yet, but is getting closer. It still has two components that are still positive. At the moment it appears that this portfolio will remain 100% long. A swift decline Thursday and Friday would likely have it changing to an aggressive hedge (using puts or a volatility ETF/ETN). It’s time to take a look

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Intermediate Term Indicator Strengthen

150501markethealth

Over the past week all of my core market health indicators have strengthened except for market risk. My measures of the economy strengthened enough to move slightly above zero. This means we’ll be adding exposure to the core portfolios. The new allocations will be as follows: Volatility Hedged portfolio: 100% long (since 10/24/14) Long / Cash portfolios: 100% long Long / Short portfolio: 100 long Here’s a chart with changes to the core portfolios over the past 18 months. Green is adding long exposure, yellow raising cash or adding hedges, red represents an aggressive hedge using an instrument that benefits from rising volatility. One thing of note is that my core indicators (which are intermediate term in nature) are currently at odds with some of the short term indicators I watch. For example, Trade Followers momentum from Twitter is currently issuing a consolidation warning. This indicates that even though we’re adding exposure the market may chop around or dip before it can move higher. Another thing of concern is that

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No Changes to Portfolio Allocation

Just a quick note today. No changes to any of the portfolio allocations this week. Enjoy the holiday!

 
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Adding Exposure Due to Measures of Trend

150320MarketHealth

Over the past week our core market health indicators bounced around a bit, but mostly improved. Our core measures of risk improved after a few weeks of falling closer to the zero line. One thing that is concerning in this category is a few of the indicators have been painting lower highs since July 2014. Our measures of the economy turned back down this week after trying to complete bottom formations. Our measures of market quality and strength fell as well. The good news came from our measures of trend. They finally went positive. As a result, our core portfolio allocations will change to reduce cash and/or short positions and increase long positions. The new allocations are as follows. Long / Cash: 80% long and 20% cash Long / Short: 90% long stocks we believe will outperform in an up trend and 10% short the S&P 500 Index (using SH). Volatility Hedge: Remains 100% long (since 10/24/14). This is a result of our market risk indicator’s strong readings. None of

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Ready for a Move Higher

150220markethealth

Over the past week all of our core market health indicator categories rose. This rise came as the S&P 500 Index (SPX) consolidated just below the 2100 level. Our measures of market risk and quality moved from negative to positive. Our measures of market trend couldn’t quit make it. If the market can hold at current levels I suspect our measures of trend will move back above zero next week. Our measures of the economy are still posting sluggish numbers, but slowly improving. Overall I’m seeing good behavior from almost all the market internal indicators I follow. This suggests the market should rally. As a result, our new portfolio allocations will be as follows: Long / Cash portfolio: 60% long and 40% cash. Long / Short portfolio: 80% long stocks we believe will out perform in up trends and 20% short (using SH). Volatility Hedged portfolio: 100% long (since 10/24/14). Below is a chart with our portfolio changes over the past year. Green represents adding exposure and reducing hedges. Yellow

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Market Health Improving

150213markethealth

Over the past week our core market health indicators rose sharply again. Everything with the exception of our measures of the economy are hovering right near a pivot point. Our measures of market strength have gone positive while measures of risk, quality, and trend are barely negative. It appears that those three categories will most likely go positive next week if the S&P 500 Index (SPX) breaks to new highs. Overall I’m seeing healthy behavior after six weeks of consolidation. With the current conditions starting to look positive we’re adding a bit more exposure to the core portfolios. The long / cash portfolio will now be 20% long and 80% cash. The long / short (hedge) portfolio will be 60% long stocks that we believe will outperform SPX in up trends and 40% hedged with a short of SPX (or using SH). The volatility hedged portfolio remains 100% long (since 10/24/14) due to no signs of extreme risk in the market. Below is a chart with the core portfolio changes

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Measures of Strength Going Positive

Just a quick heads up today. Our core indicators that follow market strength are showing positive readings today as of the close. If this can hold into the close on Friday we’ll be adding more exposure and reducing our hedge in the core portfolios. If we get a strong move to the upside in the market there is a slight chance that one of our other categories (trend, quality, or risk) could go positive as well. I’ll do a full update on Friday before the close, but wanted to give you a heads up to be looking at longs that you think will out perform the market as a whole.

 
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