Sunday, May 15, 2016

Waiting for the storm to pass

Preface: Explaining our market timing models
We maintain several market timing models, each with differing time horizons. The "Ultimate Market Timing Model" is a long-term market timing model based on research outlined in our post Building the ultimate market timing model. This model tends to generate only a handful of signals each decade.

The Trend Model is an asset allocation model which applies trend following principles based on the inputs of global stock and commodity price. This model has a shorter time horizon and tends to turn over about 4-6 times a year. In essence, it seeks to answer the question, "Is the trend in the global economy expansion (bullish) or contraction (bearish)?"

My inner trader uses the trading component of the Trend Model to look for changes in direction of the main Trend Model signal. A bullish Trend Model signal that gets less bullish is a trading "sell" signal. Conversely, a bearish Trend Model signal that gets less bullish is a trading "buy" signal. The history of actual out-of-sample (not backtested) signals of the trading model are shown by the arrows in the chart below. Past trading of the trading model has shown turnover rates of about 200% per month.

The latest signals of each model are as follows:
  • Ultimate market timing model: Buy equities*
  • Trend Model signal: Risk-on*
  • Trading model: Bullish*
* The performance chart and model readings have been delayed by a week out of respect to our paying subscribers.

Update schedule: I generally update model readings on my site on weekends and tweet any changes during the week at @humblestudent. Subscribers will also receive email notices of any changes in my trading portfolio.

Don't panic, it's only a correction
My last blog post created a bit of a stir among readers as I was inundated with questions (see Tactically taking profits in the commodity and reflation trade). To reiterate, I made a trading call to get more cautious based on a developing slowdown coming from China, which was signaled by falling commodity and Asian stock prices.

At worst, this growth scare will result in nothing more than a minor US equity correction. The intermediate term outlook remains bullish. How would you feel about equity prices if I told you:
  • Earnings are continuing to recover
  • Fed policy is dovish and equity friendly
Put simply, stock prices depend on two factors. The first is earnings, or the E in the P/E ratio - and earnings are growing. The second is the P/E multiple, which is a function of the outlook for interest rates and future growth, both of which are showing equity friendly tendencies.

Investors just have to wait out the storm.

The full post can be found at our new site here.

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