Tag Archives: rem

Dual ETF Momentum Portfolio – June Update & Backtests

In February I announced a new “Dual ETF Momentum” spreadsheet. The idea was inspired by a paper written by Gary Antonacci and available on Optimal Momentum.

The spreadsheet is available on Scott’s Investment’s here. The objective of the spreadsheet is to track four pairs of ETFs and provide an “Invested” signal for the ETF in each pair with the highest relative momentum.

Relative momentum is gauged by the 12 month total returns of each ETF. The 12 month total returns of each ETF is also compared to a short-term Treasury bill ETF (a “cash” filter). In order to have an “Invested” signal the ETF with the highest relative strength must also have 12-month total returns greater than the 12-month total returns of the cash ETF. This is the absolute momentum filter which is detailed in depth by Antonacci, and has historically helped increase risk-adjusted returns.

I have added an “average” return signal for each ETF on the spreadsheet. The concept is the same as the 12-month relative momentum. However, the “average” return signal uses the average of the past 3, 6, and 12 (“3/6/12″) month total returns for each ETF. The “invested” signal is based on the ETF with the highest relative momentum for the past 3, 6 and 12 months. The ETF with the highest average relative strength must also have an average 3/6/12 total returns greater than the 3/6/12 total returns of the cash ETF.

Below are the four portfolios along with current signals.

Return data courtesy of Finviz
Equity  ETF Average of Quarterly/Half/Full Year % Returns Signal based on 1 year returns Signal based on average returns
US Equities VTI 15.67 Invested Invested
International Equities VEU 7.68
Cash SHY 0.04
Credit Risk  ETF Average of Quarterly/Half/Full Year % Returns Signal based on 1 year returns Signal based on average returns
High Yield Bond HYG 3.41 Invested Invested
Interm Credit Bond CIU 0.38
Cash SHY 0.04
Real-Estate Risk  ETF Average of Quarterly/Half/Full Year % Returns Signal based on 1 year returns Signal based on average returns
Equity REIT VNQ 6.51 Invested Invested
Mortgage REIT REM -1.37
Cash SHY 0.04
Economic Stress  ETF Average of Quarterly/Half/Full Year % Returns Signal based on 1 year returns Signal based on average returns
Gold GLD -15.55
Long-term Treasuries TLT -4.95
Cash SHY 0.04 Invested Invested

As an added bonus, the spreadsheet also has four additional sheets using a dual momentum strategy with broker specific commission-free ETFs for TD Ameritrade, Charles Schwab, Fidelity, and Vanguard. It is important to note that each broker may have additional trade restrictions and the terms of their commission-free ETFs could change in the future.

Using Portfolio123 I backtested a similar strategy using the same portfolios and combined momentum score used above. However, to simplify the screen I did not require an ETF to be ranked above the combined return of SHY; rather, an ETF simply needed the average of its 13 week/26 week/52 week total return to be greater than 0% (the “absolute” momentum filter). Also, the portfolio re-balanced every 4 weeks as opposed to the end of each month.  No considerations were made for taxes or commissions. The test time period was 5/1/08 – 6/10/13 and the benchmark is SPY:

dual momentum test2

A four year test period is short by historical standards but the test is limited to the trading history of ETFs within the portfolio. A more robust, index-based test of the dual momentum strategy can be found on Optimal Momentum.

If you enjoy these free tools, please consider making a donation on the home page of Scott’s Investments using the Paypal link in the upper-right corner!

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Dual ETF Momentum – May Update

In February I announced a new “Dual ETF Momentum” spreadsheet. The idea was inspired by a paper written by Gary Antonacci and available on Optimal Momentum.

The spreadsheet is available on Scott’s Investment’s here. The objective of the spreadsheet is to track four pairs of ETFs and provide an “Invested” signal for the ETF in each pair with the highest relative momentum.

Relative momentum is gauged by the 12 month total returns of each ETF. The 12 month total returns of each ETF is also compared to a short-term Treasury bill ETF (a “cash” filter). In order to have an “Invested” signal the ETF with the highest relative strength must also have 12-month total returns greater than the 12-month total returns of the cash ETF. This is the absolute momentum filter which is detailed in depth by Antonacci, and has historically helped increase risk-adjusted returns.

I have added an “average” return signal for each ETF on the spreadsheet. The concept is the same as the 12-month relative momentum. However, the “average” return signal uses the average of the past 3, 6, and 12 (“3/6/12″) month total returns for each ETF. The “invested” signal is based on the ETF with the highest relative momentum for the past 3, 6 and 12 months. The ETF with the highest average relative strength must also have an average 3/6/12 total returns greater than the 3/6/12 total returns of the cash ETF.

Below are the four portfolios along with current signals. As you can see, the 12-month and 3-6-12 signals are the same with the exception of the Real-Estate risk portfolio. REM has  higher 12-month returns than VNQ; however, VNQ has higher 3/6/12 returns than REM.

Return data courtesy of Finviz
Equity ETF Average of 3/6/12 Returns Signal based on 1 year returns Signal based on average returns
US Equities VTI 16.72 Invested Invested
International Equities VEU 13.06
Cash SHY 0.17
Credit Risk ETF Average of 3/6/12 Returns Signal based on 1 year returns Signal based on average returns
High Yield Bond HYG 7.67 Invested Invested
Interm Credit Bond CIU 2.28
Cash SHY 0.17
Real-Estate Risk ETF Average of 3/6/12 Returns Signal based on 1 year returns Signal based on average returns
Equity REIT VNQ 17.17 Invested
Mortgage REIT REM 14.43 Invested
Cash SHY 0.17
Economic Stress ETF Average of 3/6/12 Returns Signal based on 1 year returns Signal based on average returns
Gold GLD -13.42
Long-term Treasuries TLT 0.46 Invested Invested
Cash SHY 0.17

As an added bonus, the spreadsheet also has four additional sheets using a dual momentum strategy with broker specific commission-free ETFs for TD Ameritrade, Charles Schwab, Fidelity, and Vanguard. It is important to note that each broker may have additional trade restrictions and the terms of their commission-free ETFs could change in the future. Also, the dual momentum strategy has historically had relatively low turnover.

If you enjoy these free tools, please consider making a donation on the home page of Scott’s Investments using the Paypal link in the upper-right corner!