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What Are the Odds That You’ll Survive the Next Price Shock?

Don’t you wonder, when you invest in the stock market, “What are the odds that I’ll be successful?” and “What are the odds that I’ll be wiped out by some price shock?” Actually, it sounds better when it’s in a positive way, but it’s just the other side of the old “risk of ruin.” If there is a 25% chance of reaching the maximum you are willing to risk, then there is a 75% chance of achieving your … [Read more...]

Living Off Profits

Our daughter trades, but she needs to make enough to live on. That bothers me because withdrawals constantly drain the account and makes it impossible to compound the returns, the key to accumulating wealth. I’m sure she’s not the only trader with that problem. The question that I ask is, “how much can you withdraw and still keep trading?” Let’s take a simple example, using the SPDR SPY from … [Read more...]

History Matters, A Primer for Controlling Systematic Risk

I am always impressed by the detailed analysis of the TV financial commentators about yesterday’s market action. But then I remind myself that it was yesterday, not today or tomorrow. I read a lot of articles on forecasting, admittedly a difficult task. But there are some forecasts that are better than others. Recently, an attempt to forecast the lows in a popular stock was based on comparing … [Read more...]

Low Volatility — High Returns?

It doesn’t seem possible and defies most financial theory. We’ve always learned that higher returns require higher risk. How is it possible to get more from less? But during the past few months there have been two articles that have gotten publicity, Moreira and Muir, Volatility Managed Portfolios (Yale, 2016), and Bilello, The volatility cycle (Proactive Advisor Magazine, May 18, 2016). Price … [Read more...]

Matching the Markets to the Strategy

At the risk of being too “geeky,” not all markets will be profitable with all systems. Part of being successful trading is to know which strategies to apply to which markets. We can never be perfect because economics and supply/demand can change, but most markets can be put into a category that favors one trading method over another. For example, if you’re a macrotrend trader, holding positions … [Read more...]

Dogging the DOW, Debunking Myths

Besides showing a new trading strategy, we'll look at why these statements aren't true: Large companies cannot grow at the same rate due to their own weight Dogs of the Dow are a good investment because company performance rotates Arbitraging using only DOW stocks is a fool’s errand Analysts seemed to have looked at the Dow Industrials (DOW) in every way imaginable, trying to eke out … [Read more...]

High Momentum or Mean Reversion?

A long, long time ago, back in the 1990s, we had a method called “High-Momentum Trading.” It was a short-term strategy that took advantage of overbought and oversold conditions – not by fading them (selling overbought and buying oversold values), but by buying overbought and selling oversold situations. It does seem contrary to the concept of being overbought or oversold, but it’s all about … [Read more...]

November 2017 Performance Report

Industry Benchmark Performance A larger number of hedge fund managers are reporting results early this month, a sure sign that everything is going well. Equity Long programs are the real benchmark, and they were up 1.45% in November, about the same as our stock programs. For 2017 they have posted 12.59% higher, a nice return so far (but below our Daily Programs). Active management involve a … [Read more...]

October 2017 Performance Report

Industry Benchmark Performance Early reporting shows lower gains then we would expect when all the data is updated. Equity long shows the best gains so far, a percent ahead of SPY in October. The SG Trend Index is close to our returns for October, while the BTOP 50 shows only half that return. It could be that the CTAs reporting early are the ones with the best performance. We still expect … [Read more...]

September 2017 Performance Report

Industry Benchmark Performance Early reporting of equity performance indicates a profitable month, running at about the same rate as our equity programs, but lagging the major equity index benchmarks. Futures are posted daily, so that performance reflects returns through September 29. Of those, the BTOP 50 is the best indication of the Industry, off about 2% for September and down 4.39% for 2017. … [Read more...]

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