Apr 24, 2019
Regime Change is used in finance to describe when a condition changes. IF [condition1] is met, THEN invest in [X]... ELSE invest in [Y]. ETFs allow us to easily test conditions which are defined not by some calculation you've created to simulate an index, these are publicly traded securities with real money invested in them. There is no ambiguity as to the rules when you use real-world securities as is so often the case with non-financial regime tests.
Here is a simple example to get the hang of it, is the NASDAQ-100 going up? If it is, buy it. If it isn't, invest in a different type of ETF. In this example, the different type of ETF is defined by the QUALITY FACTOR. Quality stocks are those with strong balance sheets, lower earnings variability & higher Return On Equity -- as ranked by indexing firm MSCI. QUAL actually owned real stocks on each day with real money, we aren't subjectively now determining what should be classified as quality and what shouldn't.
What does the performance report look like for this idea? See below for summary version of an ETFreplay.com backtest report (statistical analysis excluded in image below).
Then try other ideas. All of your ideas don't have to work for you to be very successful at this. Indeed, this strategy has underfperformed its benchmark 46% of the time in last 5 years (as measured by relative performance in each calendar month). Yet the outperformance over time has been good.
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Apr 23, 2019
Backtest | Ratio
An uptrend is a series of higher highs and higher lows. Using a ratio between 2 securities shows which is relatively stronger. A Relative Strength analysis can quantify which security within a list of MORE THAN 2 securities is strongest.
So let's look at one current situation. Emerging markets have shown good relative strength on shorter-term basis. If this continues then a higher low and higher highs situation could develop (vs SP 500). That said, SPY has continued to be strong -- both Emerging markets AND US Stocks have been strong this year. It actually hasn't mattered which you've owned --- so even if you were wrong on thinking a ratio would go up/down, you still made good money either way. This won't always be the case though.
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Apr 05, 2019
Backtest | Channel
Channels are a good, simple supplement that offer an ABSOLUTE look and can be used in conjunction with other RELATIVE studies. Wider channels give your trade room to work. Tighter channels will cause some whipsaw losses. If you are bullish on an ETF based on a range of factors, then running a skewed channel might be a good idea --- ie, run the exit (Sell channel) at 0% but a buy at just 60%... This allows you to get in quickly while still offering room for the investment to work. This study uses a simple 67% / 33% buy/sell trigger with a ~6 month lookback (26-weeks means you will trade usually on a Friday -- if holiday then Thursday). Entries and exits only occur on the close of the last day of the week (Fridays) allowing for easy monitoring. Note that this look has trades that have lasted a while. This is because the sell rules will allow a fair bit of movement before exiting.
Finally, because a channel uses a percentage, it may be easier to see the trend in the ETF than othewise. An uptrend is defined by higher lows and higher highs. A downtrend is defined by lower highs and lower lows. The channel is a another tool to have to see and understand what is happening in the market.
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