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Ivy Portfolio July Update

The Ivy Portfolio spreadsheet track the 10 month moving average signals for two portfolios listed in Mebane Faber’s book The Ivy Portfolio: How to Invest Like the Top Endowments and Avoid Bear Markets. Faber discusses 5, 10, and 20 security portfolios that have trading signals based on long-term moving averages.

The Ivy Portfolio spreadsheet tracks both the 5 and 10 ETF Portfolios listed in Faber’s book. When a security is trading below its 10 month simple moving average, the position is listed as “Cash”. When the security is trading above its 10 month simple moving average the positions is listed as “Invested”.

The spreadsheet’s signals update once daily (typically in the late evening) using dividend/split adjusted closing price from Yahoo Finance. The 10 month simple moving average is based on the most recent 10 months including the current month’s most recent daily closing price.  Even though the signals update daily, it is not an endorsement to check signals daily or trade based on daily updates. It simply gives the spreadsheet more versatility for users to check at his or her leisure.

The page also displays the percentage each ETF within the Ivy 10 and Ivy 5 Portfolio is above or below the current 10 month simple moving average, using both adjusted and unadjusted data. If an ETF has paid a dividend or split within the past 10 months, then when comparing the adjusted/unadjusted data you will see differences in the percent an ETF is above/below the 10 month SMA. This could also potentially impact whether an ETF is above or below its 10 month SMA. Regardless of whether you prefer the adjusted or unadjusted data, it is important to remain consistent in your approach. My preference is to use adjusted data when evaluating signals.

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The current signals based on June 30th’s adjusted closing prices are below.   As of the close May 29, (DBC) (GSG) (VNQ) and (TIP) were below their 10 month moving average.  This month those 4 ETFs remain below their moving average. In addition, (BND) (RWX) (TIP) and (VWO) are now also below their 10 month moving average.

The spreadsheet also provides quarterly, half year, and yearly return data courtesy of Finviz. The return data is useful for those interested in overlaying a momentum strategy with the 10 month SMA strategy:

Ivy10

Ivy5

I also provide a “Commission-Free” Ivy Portfolio spreadsheet as an added bonus. This document tracks the 10 month moving averages for four different portfolios designed for TD Ameritrade, Fidelity, Charles Schwab, and Vanguard commission-free ETF offers.

Not all ETFs in each portfolio are commission free, as each broker limits the selection of commission-free ETFs and viable ETFs may not exist in each asset class. Other restrictions and limitations may apply depending on each broker.

Below are the 10 month moving average signals (using adjusted price data) for the commission-free portfolios:

Commfree1 Commfree2

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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Read more on Momentum at Wikinvest

Ivy Portfolio – March Update

Early in 2012  Scott’s Investments added a daily Ivy Portfolio spreadsheet. This tool uses Google Documents and Yahoo Finance to track the 10 month moving average signals for two of the portfolios listed in Mebane Faber’s book The Ivy Portfolio: How to Invest Like the Top Endowments and Avoid Bear Markets. Faber discusses 5, 10, and 20 security portfolios that have trading signals based on long-term moving averages.

The Ivy Portfolio spreadsheet tracks the 5 and 10 ETF Portfolios listed in Faber’s book. When a security is trading below its 10 month simple moving average, the position is listed as “Cash”. When the security is trading above its 10 month simple moving average the positions is listed as “Invested”.

The spreadsheet’s signals update once daily (typically in the late evening) using dividend/split adjusted closing price from Yahoo Finance. The 10 month simple moving average is based on the most recent 10 months including the current month’s most recent daily closing price.  Even though the signals update daily, it is not an endorsement to check signals daily. It simply gives the spreadsheet more versatility for users to check at his or her leisure.

The page also displays the percentage each ETF within the Ivy 10 and Ivy 5 Portfolio is above or below the current 10 month simple moving average, using both adjusted and unadjusted data.

If an ETF has paid a dividend or split within the past 10 months, then when comparing the adjusted/unadjusted data you will see differences in the percent an ETF is above/below the 10 month SMA. This could also potentially impact whether an ETF is above or below its 10 month SMA. Regardless of whether you prefer the adjusted or unadjusted data, it is important to remain consistent in your approach.

Top 50 Trending Stocks

The current signals based on February 28th closing prices are below.  Real estate and equities are leading while bonds and commodities are lagging and trading below their 10 month moving average.

The first table is based on adjusted historical data and the second table is based on unadjusted price data:

As an added bonus I created a “Commission-Free” Ivy Portfolio spreadsheet. This document tracks the 10 month moving averages for three different portfolios designed for TD Ameritrade, Fidelity, and Vanguard commission-free ETF offers.

Not all ETFs in each portfolio are commission free, as each broker limits the selection of commission-free ETFs and viable ETFs may not exist in each asset class. Other restrictions and limitations may apply depending on each broker.

Below are the 10 month moving average signals for the commission-free portfolios:

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

Ivy Portfolio Month-End Update

Early in 2012  Scott’s Investments added a daily Ivy Portfolio spreadsheet. This tool uses Google Documents and Yahoo Finance to track the 10 month moving average signals for two of the portfolios listed in Mebane Faber’s book The Ivy Portfolio: How to Invest Like the Top Endowments and Avoid Bear Markets. Faber discusses 5, 10, and 20 security portfolios that have trading signals based on long-term moving averages.

The Ivy Portfolio spreadsheet tracks the 5 and 10 ETF Portfolios listed in Faber’s book. When a security is trading below its 10 month simple moving average, the position is listed as “Cash”. When the security is trading above its 10 month simple moving average the positions is listed as “Invested”.

The spreadsheet’s signals update once daily (typically in the evening) using dividend/split adjusted closing price from Yahoo Finance. The 10 month simple moving average is based on the most recent 10 months including the current month’s most recent daily closing price.  Even though the signals update daily, it is not an endorsement to check signals daily. It simply gives the spreadsheet more versatility for user’s to check at their leisure.

The page also displays the percentage each ETF within the Ivy 10 and Ivy 5 Portfolio is above or below the current 10 month simple moving average, using both adjusted and unadjusted data.

If an ETF has paid a dividend or split within the past 10 months, then when comparing the adjusted/unadjusted data you will see differences in the percent an ETF is above/below the 10 month SMA. This could also potentially impact whether an ETF is above or below its 10 month SMA. Regardless of whether you prefer the adjusted or unadjusted data, it is important to remain consistent in your approach.

Top 50 Trending Stocks

I do not track these portfolios as hypothetical portfolios like I do with other portfolios on the site but do periodically backtest the strategy. For the most recent test results, please view December’s update.

The current signals based on January 31st closing prices are below.  International and domestic equities are leading, while bonds are lagging and trading below their 10 month moving average.

The first table is based on adjusted historical data and the second table is based on unadjusted price data:

 

Ivy Portfolio Update

Early in 2012  Scott’s Investments added a daily Ivy Portfolio spreadsheet. This tool uses Google Documents and Yahoo Finance to track the 10 month moving average signals for two of the portfolios listed in Mebane Faber’s book The Ivy Portfolio: How to Invest Like the Top Endowments and Avoid Bear Markets. Faber discusses 5, 10, and 20 security portfolios that have trading signals based on long-term moving averages.

This month’s update is a trading day early (markets will be open on the 31st) than a typical end of month update.  It also comes at a time when the long-term moving average strategy has struggled and is under scrutiny. John Hussman notes that since 2009 the S&P 500 Index has actually performed better when below its 200 day moving average than when it has been above the 200 day moving average.  He also notes the recent performance is contrary to the longer-term success of a moving average strategy:

“…since 2010, the S&P 500 has gained just 1.5% annually when it has been above its 200-day moving average, versus a striking 46.3% annual return when it has been below. Needless to say, this pattern is not necessarily indicative of how the S&P 500 will behave in the future, and is in fact contrary to the historical pattern”

Hussman focuses on one index, the S&P 500. With hundreds of markets to trade, some will follow the historical trend while others, like the S&P 500 may buck the trend for months, years, or perhaps forever. The key is not to focus or trade one market with one strategy – the S&P 500 is not the market but rather one index among many, and its asset class (US equities) one among many.

The Ivy Portfolio spreadsheet tracks the 5 and 10 ETF Portfolios listed in Faber’s book. When a security is trading below its 10 month simple moving average, the position is listed as “Cash”. When the security is trading above its 10 month simple moving average the positions is listed as “Invested”.

The spreadsheet’s signals update once daily (typically in the evening) using dividend/split adjusted closing price from Yahoo Finance. The 10 month simple moving average is based on the most recent 10 months including the current month’s most recent daily closing price.  Even though the signals update daily, it is not an endorsement to check signals daily. It simply gives the spreadsheet more versatility for user’s to check at their leisure.

Now you can follow me on Stocktwits and Twitter!

The page also displays the percentage each ETF within the Ivy 10 and Ivy 5 Portfolio is above or below the current 10 month simple moving average, using both adjusted and unadjusted data.

If an ETF has paid a dividend or split within the past 10 months, then when comparing the adjusted/unadjusted data you will see differences in the percent an ETF is above/below the 10 month SMA. This could also potentially impact whether an ETF is above or below its 10 month SMA. Regardless of whether you prefer the adjusted or unadjusted data, it is important to remain consistent in your approach.

MarketClub Holiday Special

I do not track these portfolios as hypothetical portfolios like I do with other portfolios on the site but do periodically backtest the strategy. For the most recent test results, please view last month’s update.

The current signals based on November 30th’s closing prices are below.  International equities and international real estate are the strongest sector in terms of their percent above their 10 month moving average.  Commodities and US REITs are the weakest sectors.

The first table is based on adjusted historical data and the second table is based on unadjusted price data:

Portfolio Updates & Weekend Readings

For November there was no change in the US Sector Momentum portfolio – it continues to hold Health Care Select Sector SPDR (XLV).

The Basic ETF Portfolio sold PowerShares DB Commodity Index Tracking (DBC) and purchased Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US ETF (VEU). You will remember last month that DBC and VEU were virtually tied based on momentum.

I will be sitting quietly in a deer stand this weekend so there will be no further commentary on the two portfolios above.

Below are some articles for the weekend:

Distinction Without a Difference – John Hussman

The Quest for Certainty (pdf) – John Mauldin

 Regression to Trend – Doug Short

Is the Stock Market Cheap? Doug Short

Improving on Risk Parity – The Idea Farm

Time to Vote! Bill Gross

Basic & Sector ETF Portfolios for October

The US Sector and Basic ETF Portfolios have been updated for October. Both portfolios have no turnover from last month, below is a brief review:

US Sector Momentum – The US Sector Momentum Portfolio continues to hold  Health Care Select Sector SPDR (XLV) based on 6-month price momentum.

Year-to-date the strategy is up 3.77%.  For background on this strategy click here.

The table below shows various momentum metrics for sector ETFs:

Symbol Name Quarterly 6 Month Year Average 200 Day SMA
XLB Materials Select Sector SPDR 4.81% 0.60% 23.32% 9.58% 4.04%
XLE Energy Select Sector SPDR 11.15% 3.30% 23.96% 12.80% 5.78%
XLF Financial Select Sector SPDR 6.93% -0.45% 29.70% 12.06% 7.21%
XLI Industrial Select Sector SPDR 3.08% -1.27% 23.58% 8.46% 2.62%
XLK Technology Select Sector SPDR 7.74% 3.02% 29.30% 13.35% 8.09%
XLP Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR 3.75% 6.59% 22.94% 11.09% 6.73%
XLU Utilities Select Sector SPDR -0.57% 5.94% 10.41% 5.26% 3.20%
XLV Health Care Select Sector SPDR 6.08% 7.79% 27.49% 13.79% 9.29%
XLY Consumer Discret Select Sector SPDR 7.24% 4.51% 32.47% 14.74% 8.28%

Basic ETF Portfolio – The Basic ETF Portfolio went several months without turnover, holding  Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI), Vanguard REIT Index ETF (VNQ), and Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF (BND) until las month. However, for September the strategy rules called for a sale of BND at a gain of 1.5% (excluding dividends). The proceeds were used to purchase 119 shares of DBC which based on the portfolio’s momentum rules is tied with VEU for third place this month. The tie will be granted to the existing position, thus, there is no turnover this month.

Below is a table showing the various momentum metrics for the five available ETFs in the Basic Portfolio.  For strategy background, click here.

Symbol Name Quarterly Half Year Year Average 200 Day SMA
BND Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF 1.57% 3.73% 4.81% 3.37% 2.31%
DBC PowerShares DB Commodity Index Tracking 11.38% -0.42% 7.54% 6.17% 3.91%
VEU Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US ETF 6.73% -1.08% 12.87% 6.17% 4.30%
VNQ Vanguard REIT Index ETF 0.09% 3.73% 28.78% 10.87% 4.17%
VTI Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF 6.19% 2.94% 26.94% 12.02% 6.66%

Total portfolio gain to date is 3.78% including dividends.

Ivy Portfolio for October

Early in 2012  Scott’s Investments added a daily Ivy Portfolio spreadsheet. This tool uses Google Documents and Yahoo Finance to track the 10 month moving average signals for two of the portfolios listed in Mebane Faber’s book The Ivy Portfolio: How to Invest Like the Top Endowments and Avoid Bear Markets. Faber discusses 5, 10, and 20 security portfolios that have trading signals based on long-term moving averages.

The Ivy Portfolio spreadsheet tracks the 5 and 10 ETF Portfolios listed in Faber’s book. When a security is trading below its 10 month simple moving average, the position is listed as “Cash”. When the security is trading above its 10 month simple moving average the positions is listed as “Invested”.

The spreadsheet’s signals update once daily (typically in the evening) using dividend/split adjusted closing price from Yahoo Finance. The 10 month simple moving average is based on the most recent 10 months including the current month’s most recent daily closing price.  Even though the signals update daily, it is not an endorsement to check signals daily. It simply gives the spreadsheet more versatility for user’s to check at their leisure.

Now you can follow me on Stocktwits and Twitter!

The page also displays the percentage each ETF within the Ivy 10 and Ivy 5 Portfolio is above or below the current 10 month simple moving average, using both adjusted and unadjusted data.

If an ETF has paid a dividend or split within the past 10 months, then when comparing the adjusted/unadjusted data you will see differences in the percent an ETF is above/below the 10 month SMA. This could also potentially impact whether an ETF is above or below its 10 month SMA. Regardless of whether you prefer the adjusted or unadjusted data, it is important to remain consistent in your approach.

I do not track these portfolios as hypothetical portfolios like I do with other portfolios on the site. However, I will periodically post backtest results on the strategy. Below are updated backtest results for the Ivy Portfolio using ETFReplay.com.

The backtest results for the Ivy 5 Portfolio since 2007 and 10 month simple moving average with a monthly update are charted below. For the backtests, iShares Barclays Aggregate Bond (AGG) was used in lieu of BND and iShares MSCI EAFE (EFA) was used in lieu of VEU because they have longer trading histories:

The Ivy 10 Portfolio, using a 10 month moving average and updated monthly has performed as follows since 2007 and compared to SPY. Again, AGG and EFA were used in the backtests:

The strategy’s strength is avoiding significant drawdowns during periods of market turbulence, such as 2008. During periods of strong uptrending equity markets it has the potential to under-perform a benchmark such as SPY.  ”Choppy” markets, in which markets are trend-less can also reduce the strategy’s returns as securities bounce above and below long-term moving averages without establishing a trend.

The current signals based on September 28th’s closing prices are below.  Real-estate linked ETFs and US Equity ETFs remain the strongest sector in terms of their percent above their 10 month moving average. All of the securities in the 5 and 10 ETF portfolios are above their 10 month moving averages.

The first table is based on adjusted historical data and the second table is based on unadjusted price data:

Basic & Sector ETF Portfolio Updates

The US Sector and Basic ETF Portfolios have been updated for September.

US Sector Momentum – The US Sector Momentum Portfolio is selling Consumer Staples (XLP) with a realized loss of -.48% and purchasing XLV Health Care Select Sector SPDR based on 6-month price momentum.

Year-to-date the strategy is up less than .50%.  For background on this strategy click here.

The table below shows various momentum metrics for sector ETFs:

Symbol Name Quarterly 6 Month Year Average 200 Day SMA
XLB Materials Select Sector SPDR 8.19% -1.93% 4.48% 3.58% 1.37%
XLE Energy Select Sector SPDR 15.95% -2.84% 6.79% 6.63% 3.43%
XLF Financial Select Sector SPDR 13.98% 3.20% 18.07% 11.75% 6.10%
XLI Industrial Select Sector SPDR 9.46% -0.55% 16.51% 8.47% 2.64%
XLK Technology Select Sector SPDR 11.89% 6.50% 28.11% 15.50% 8.65%
XLP Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR 7.32% 7.58% 18.52% 11.14% 6.48%
XLU Utilities Select Sector SPDR 2.39% 4.69% 11.30% 6.13% 2.74%
XLV Health Care Select Sector SPDR 9.72% 8.34% 19.58% 12.55% 7.26%
XLY Consumer Discret Select Sector SPDR 9.13% 5.46% 24.69% 13.09% 7.18%

Basic ETF Portfolio – The Basic ETF Portfolio has gone several months without turnover, holding  Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI), Vanguard REIT Index ETF (VNQ), and Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF (BND). However, for September the strategy rules called for a sale of BND at a gain of 1.5% (excluding dividends). The original BND purchase date was April 30th, 2012. The proceeds were used to purchase 119 shares of DBC which has a slight momentum advantage over BND as of the close on August 31st.

Below is a table showing the various momentum metrics for the five available ETFs in the Basic Portfolio.  For strategy background, click here.

Symbol Name Quarterly Half Year Year Average 200 Day SMA
BND Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF 1.36% 3.17% 4.49% 3.01% 2.47%
DBC PowerShares DB Commodity Index Tracking 15.81% -1.87% -3.87% 3.36% 4.81%
VEU Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US ETF 11.77% -4.52% -0.96% 2.10% 1.82%
VNQ Vanguard REIT Index ETF 11.09% 9.59% 21.95% 14.21% 8.38%
VTI Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF 10.73% 3.71% 18.73% 11.06% 5.82%

Total portfolio gain to date is 3.71% including dividends.

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ETF Portfolio Updates for August

The US Sector and Basic ETF Portfolios have been updated for August.  The key points are below:

US Sector Momentum – The US Sector Momentum Portfolio rotated from Technology (XLK) into Consumer Staples (XLP) based on 6-month price momentum. Year-to-date the strategy is up less than .50%.  For background on this strategy click here.

Basic ETF Portfolio – Just like last month there is no change in the existing positions of  Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI), Vanguard REIT Index ETF (VNQ), and Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF (BND). These three ETFs remain above their 200 day simple moving average and have the highest momentum of the five.  For strategy background, click here.

Now you can follow me on Stocktwits and Twitter!