Sunday, March 19, 2017

Rate hikes ≠ The Apocalypse

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 the 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 the 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 bearish 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: Bearish*
* 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 mid-week observations at @humblestudent. Subscribers will also receive email notices of any changes in my trading portfolio.

Pundits vs. the bond market
As expected, the FOMC delivered a rate hike last week, From the bond market`s perspective, you would have thought that the Fed cut rates. The stock market rallied, and bond yields fell.

From the viewpoint of some of the pundits, I thought that the Apocalypse was at hand. David Rosenberg warned that "There have been 13 Fed rate hike cycles in the post-WWII era, and 10 landed the economy in recession".

Not to be outdone, Bill Gross said that "Our highly levered financial system is like a truckload of nitro-glycerin on a bumpy road".

What's going on? Who is right, the bond market, or the pundits?

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

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