Our Market Risk Indicator finally made it back to a positive reading this week. As we’ve noted in our weekly market comments, our core market health indicators have been fighting against market risk. While the market health indicators were strengthening over the past month our Market Risk Indicator stayed stubbornly negative. With the clearing of our risk indicator we move from an aggressively hedged position to a 90% long position with a 10% short position. The longs are stocks that we believe will outperform the market and the short is a simple short of the S&P 500 Index. An ETF that can be used is SH. As always, we can’t see the future so we allocate our portfolios based on the probabilities created by the history of our indicators. The current condition of our indicators suggests that the market should move higher over the intermediate term. Once again, not a prediction, merely a situation where the odds favor higher prices. The current hedge ratio is .11. The green lines in
Our Market Risk Indicator closed the week in negative territory. This signal caused us to aggressively hedge our portfolio. We’re effectively 50% Long and 50% short, but our shorts consist of instruments that will benefit from increased volatility in the market. Some examples are puts against our long positions or mid term volatility like VIXM or VXZ. A lesser alternative would be an actively managed bear fund similar to HDGE. The long portion of our portfolio continues to be stocks that we believe will outperform the general market over the long run. This move in the portfolio is not a prediction of lower prices in the market. Rather, it reflects enough increased risk that we want to insure our portfolio. As we’ve noted before, our Market Risk Indicator has many false signals that are usually short in duration. If this signal is false we expect to take a small loss which we consider paying for insurance. If the signal proves to be correct we expect to make money as volatility
Our Long / Short hedging strategy is now 80% long and 20% short. As the market consolidated above 1400 we saw improvement in most of our core indicators tracking market trend, risk, and strength. We’re still not seeing the strength we’d like in enough of our measures of the economy and market quality. Conditions such as we’re experiencing today are most likely associated with a continuation of an up trend after a correction. However, during a bear market these conditions occur near bear market rally highs. Our current Hedge Ratio is .25. The long portion of our portfolio continues to be stocks we want to own for the long run that we believe will out perform in an up trend. Our 20% offsetting short is simply a short of the S&P 500 Index. The green lines are adding exposure (removing shorts and increasing longs). Yellow lines represent increasing our hedging (reducing longs and increasing shorts). The red line signals aggressive hedging with instruments like puts, volatility, or actively managed bear
Our core market indicators continued to improve this week allowing us to increase our long exposure and reduce our hedge. We are currently 70% long and 30% short. The increase was fairly rapid as it appears more market participants are joining this rally. The long portion of the portfolio consists of stocks we want to own due to many factors including; individual company growth prospects, value, and beta. Our current short is simply a short of the S&P 500 Index. The current hedge ratio is .43. The green lines on the chart above represent us adding longs to our portfolio and reducing shorts. The yellow lines represent increasing short positions and decreasing our portfolio of long stocks. The red line represents aggressive hedging with instruments like puts, volatility, or actively managed short funds.
Our core indicators improved enough today to remove a portion of our hedges. We added exposure by removing some of our hedge and using the money to add to our long portfolio. We are now 60% long and 40% short (using a short of the S&P 500 Index). The current hedge ratio is .67. Several of our core indicators are lagging so it’ll probably be more than a couple of weeks before we add additional exposure. But as always, we’ll keep you updated with any changes. The green lines on the chart below represent us adding exposure to the long portion of our portfolio. The yellow lines represent adding hedges. The red line represents aggressive hedging.
On 7/13/2012 our Long / Short hedging strategy moved from aggressively hedged (using put options, or an actively managed short fund like HDGE, or midterm volatility like VIXM or VXZ) to a full hedge using a short of the S&P 500 index. We’re still long 50% of the portfolio with stocks that we believe will out perform in an up trending market and short 50% using the S&P 500 index. When we’re in this position our expectation is that we’ll make money if the market moves higher (our long stocks should out perform). We expect to lose a little money if the market moves sideways or down…but that’s the price of insurance. The current hedge ratio is 1. On the chart below the green lines get wider as we add exposure. The yellow lines get wider as we remove exposure by adding hedges. The red line indicates an aggressive hedge.