Over the past week our measures of the economy finally moved back to positive. As a result, our portfolio allocation will change by the close today (1/3/2014). All of our portfolios will be 100% long. Sometimes it feels like we’re buying at a high, but we follow the indicators not our feelings. All of our other indicator categories except for perceptions of risk improved last week. Our measures of risk are acting very skittishly and have fallen quite a bit with virtually no deterioration in price. This suggests that it won’t take much downside price action for people to start selling in earnest. Currently two of the four components of our Market Risk indicator are very close to signalling while our core indicators are very positive. As a result, I suspect that market risk would be what moves the portfolios to a hedged position or raising cash in the event of a more serious decline. Below is a chart with the normalized scores for each of the core indicator categories.
Over the past week our measures of market quality fell below zero. As a result, we’re raising some cash in both our long/cash strategies and we’re adding a small hedge to the hedged portfolio. Both of our Long/Cash portfolios are now 80% long and 20% cash. Our hedged portfolio is 90% long and 10% short. The long portion of the portfolio consists of stocks that we believe will outperform the general market in an uptrend. The short is a simple short of the S&P 500 Index (SPX). Please note the purpose of our portfolio strategies is to help individual investors remove the risk of large draw downs from their own portfolios. We don’t list the longs we hold because we feel you should do your own due diligence before buying any security. This isn’t a prediction of a market top, instead when our indicators start to weaken (especially after a strong rally) we feel it prudent to take some profits or hedge against a possible decline. We still believe the
All of our core market health indicator categories improved this week. Our measures of market quality moved back above zero and as a result we’re removing hedges and adding long exposure to our portfolios. All of our portfolios are now 100% long. Measures of perceived risk subsided this week, but most of the components of our Market Risk Indicator are still negative. At the moment this is the most likely indicator that could have an impact on our allocations. If the market falls substantially then I expect it will signal, resulting in aggressive hedges or moving to cash. In the absence of a market risk warning we’ll most likely be riding out any volatility over the next few weeks. Below are charts that show our allocations changes over the past year. Green lines represent adding long exposure. Yellow lines represent raising cash. Red lines represent aggressive hedging.
All of our market health indicators except for perception of risk improved over the past week. Our measures of market trend and strength continue to show high readings. Our measures of market quality are almost positive and I suspect that baring a large sell off we’ll see them move to positive territory by next week. Our measures of the economy finally moved into positive territory. As a result, we’re adding exposure to our portfolios. Both of our long / cash portfolios are now 80% long and 20% cash. Our hedged portfolio is 90% long stocks we believe will outperform the market and 10% the S&P 500 Index (or the ETF SH). Below are charts of our portfolio changes over the past year. The green lines represent adding exposure. The yellow lines represent raising cash or adding hedges. The red lines represent the hedged portfolio in an aggressively hedged position with instruments that benefit from increasing volatility. Current market health indicator status.
Over the past week most of our indicators rose, however, our measures of market quality slipped enough that we’re changing our portfolio allocations. In both of our Long/Cash portfolios we’ll now be 60% long and 40% cash. Our Hedged portfolio will be 80% long and 20% short. We’re long stocks that we believe will out perform the market in an uptrend. Our hedge is a simple short of the S&P 500 Index (or SH). Please be aware that this isn’t a prediction of a market top or even a correction. Our measures of market quality tend to be longer term in nature and often lead our other indicators by several weeks or even months. So this is simply a recognition that enough of the underlying indicators that we follow are falling that we feel it prudent to raise a bit of cash and become more cautious. Our goal is not to track every move in the general stock market, rather we want to participate in strong rallies and avoid catastrophic
Over the past week most of our core market health indicators improved. Our measures of the economy are still negative, but improving slowly. Our measures of risk showed some weakness that signals investors are getting a bit more concerned about the market. However, we believe that this is a normal condition when the market stalls rather than an indication of substantially lower prices. Our measures of market quality, trend, and strength jumped substantially this week. It is interesting that our measures of trend followed quality and strength in going positive especially since the rally out of the November lows has trended so strongly. It is an indication of how odd this rally has been from a underlying technical perspective. The positive changes in market trend is causing a change in our core portfolio allocations. Our Long / Cash strategies are now 80% long and 20% cash. Our Hedged portfolio is now 90% long and 10% short (using a simple short of the S&P 500 Index — or the ETF
Our core market health indicators saw improvement in everything except our measures of the economy. We’re increasing exposure in our core portfolios today. Our Long / Cash portfolios will now be 60% long. Our hedged portfolio will be 80% long and 20% short. The short is a simple short of the S&P 500 Index (or SH). Below are charts showing where we added exposure (green lines) and raised cash or added hedges (yellow and red lines). The core long / cash portfolio has had limited exposure that has varied from 20% long to 100% long. The hedged portfolio (Long / Short Hedge) Has had a bit more exposure to the long side, but carried a fairly significant hedge during the last part of this rally. This was due to our core market health indicators remaining mostly negative during the move from 1550 to 1650.
Our core market health indicators deteriorated enough this week that we’re raising cash in our Long/Cash portfolios. They are both now 80% cash and 20% long. Our hedged portfolio is now 60% long (stocks we believe will outperform the market in an uptrend) and 40% short the S&P 500 Index (either short SPY or buy SH). Our measures of the economy slipped from -7 to -8. The economy measures continue to disappoint us as they just can’t seem to get a footing. They went negative near the first of December, got all the way down to -10 (our worst reading), moved back up to -3 at the beginning of February then turned over again. This indicator usually has a pretty good lead time at both bottoms and tops so the fact that it has kept a portion of our portfolios under invested for almost three months gives us concern. Our measures of risk dropped a bit this week to +5. There still isn’t much concern from market participants about a
We’re adding exposure to our portfolios today. Our measures of market quality improved enough to cause this change. On February 22nd, our indicators reacted to the weakness in price and fear of market participants that a correction had started. This caused us to raise cash and add more shorts in our portfolios. This added some protection just in case the sell off accelerated, but also left us with some exposure to the market if it rallied. As you know, our portfolios are designed to participate in up trends, but also protect us from any unrecoverable declines. This was an example of getting cautious that in hindsight was unnecessary, however in our opinion prudent. We don’t mind paying for insurance when the market is uncertain. Our portfolios still participated in almost half the gain of the recent rally, which is enough for us during any period of market uncertainty. We’re now adding more long stock exposure on the expectation of higher prices. Both of our Long/Cash portfolios now have allocations of
Just a quick note about our current portfolio positions. Our core market health indicators have deteriorated further throughout the week. They’ve fallen enough that we’re raising cash in our Long / Cash portfolios and adding hedges to our Hedged portfolio. Our Long/Cash portfolios are both now 40% long and 60% cash. Our Hedged portfolio is now 70% long and 30% hedged with a simple short of the S&P 500 Index. The ETF SH is an easy way to short SPX if you don’t want to short SPY. The long portion of our portfolio still remains the stocks we believe will outperform the market over the long term. However, we’ve trimmed some positions based on their future prospects and used that cash to purchase the hedge. Note: charts added on 2/24/13