Tactical Asset Allocation – October 2017

Tactical Asset Allocation Strategy Update

Performance

Global Core is up 0.67% for October and up 9.48% YTD

Big cap domestic has been the major contributor this month with small assists from domestic small cap and emerging markets. Treasuries have declined modestly.

Market

This market has been nothing short of amazing in its ability to rally, interrupted only by the smallest of corrections. While the FANGs are reaping the largest share of the gains, the rest of the equity market is doing a decent job of riding their coattails. Sector rotation has been continuous as each plays catch-up when left behind.

Yields on longer dated Treasuries have strengthened and appear headed higher. While this creates a small drag on our Core Strategy, it will provide more opportunity for returns when the Market Conditions Model recommends shifting some funds into Global Satellite (Hostile).

Earl Adamy

Tactical Asset Allocation Strategy Performance

Global Strategy (Conservative)

Month: 0.67% gain
Year-to-date: 9.48% gain
Full cycle-to-date (Sep 2007): 13.72% CAGR, 7.14% Max Monthly Drawdown

Global Strategy (Aggressive)

Month: 0.67% gain
Year-to-date: 9.48% gain
Full cycle-to-date (Sep 2007): 17.24% CAGR, 8.22% Max Monthly Drawdown

Tactical Asset Allocation Fund Basket Performance

Global Core

Month-to-date: 0.67% gain
Year-to-date: 9.48% gain
Full cycle-to-date (Sep 2007): 10.18% CAGR, 6.54% Max Monthly Drawdown

Global Satellite (includes Favorable & Hostile)

Month-to-date: hibernating since Jul 2016
Year-to-date: hibernating since Jul 2016
Full cycle-to-date (Sep 2007): 21.93% [email protected]*, 8.21% Max Monthly Drawdown

*CAGR for the Favorable and Hostile Market Conditions during which Global Satellite was invested

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3 thoughts on “Tactical Asset Allocation – October 2017”

  1. Thanks Earl. I’m probably missing something, or forgetting, but my understanding is that the satellite basket would never be employed during hostile market conditions, yet the full cycle [email protected] above reports exactly that. My guess is that there nay be brief overlap periods where this occurs, but would appreciate your response. Thank you, as always.

    • That is exactly where we were a year ago; however I was very frustrated with the prospect of missing returns during a strongly trending decline. It took me two years of testing strategies before I found a low-risk, high return strategy for Bear Markets. Once I had the strategy in hand, I needed to upgrade the Market Conditions Model to signal when the strategy was to be deployed. We now have Global Core and two satellite strategies: Global Satellite (Favorable) and Global Satellite (Hostile). If you’ll go to the Strategies page, scroll down to #2 Basket Selection, and have a look at the Global Satellite column, you’ll find a summary with a chart and 3 tables showing performance combined and individually.

  2. Yes, now I remember. I had forgotten about the Hostile Satellite basket, so misunderstood, thinking you were referring to the same basket for both conditions. Thanks.

Comments are closed.

I will be rolling out upgrades to the Tactical Model and Adaptive Strategies beginning with the November 29 rebalance for the month of December. In each case, the focus has been on improving control over the upper bounds of portfolio volatility, improving the consistency of annual returns, and on reducing fund turnover.

In order to provide the fullest possible disclosure, the Chart and Table displays on the website will include tables for both the original (labeled “Repl Dec 2019)” and upgraded Strategy beginning with the next update in early December.

The primary benefit of minor changes to Adaptive Global is reduction in both Standard Deviation of Monthly Returns and the Ulcer Index:.

  • Fund basket and condition eligibility: no change was made to fund baskets or condition eligibility
  • Fund selection: no change to fund selection method (Adaptive Dynamic Momentum)
  • Weighting of selected funds: Volatility Weighting was replaced with Limited Portfolio Volatility Weighting which is employed to cap the expected total portfolio volatility when high volatility funds (especially equities) are used. This slightly reduces both risk and return.
  • Position Optimization: Upgraded which slightly improves holding periods and performance.

Full cycle: CAGR decreased slightly from 15.0% to 14.6%;  Max Monthly Drawdown declined from 8.7% to 7.9%; and the Up/Down Ratio decreased slightly from 228.7% to 228.4%. The Ulcer Index declined from 3.7% to 3.6% and Standard Deviation of Monthly Returns declined from 9.5% to 9.1% reflecting improved consistency of returns.

A Caveat

A 35+ year secular bull market in both equities and bonds began in 1982. The last cyclical bull market in equities (and to a lesser extent, bonds) began 10 years ago. Returns during these periods have been historically exceptional. Market returns for the next 10 years are highly unlikely to approach those of the past 10. In fact, there is at least some evidence that market returns have a high probability of being significantly lower and that bonds and equities (which have risen together) may actually begin working at cross purposes.

Investors should not use the statistics shown for our strategies to establish expectations of specific levels of returns or drawdowns. Investors should, however, appreciate that we believe the principles which underlie the Tactical Adaptive Global, Tactical Adaptive Income, and Tactical Adaptive Innovation Strategies are enduring enough to significantly outperform the market in the future, both in lowering risk and in improving returns.

I will be rolling out upgrades to the Tactical Model and Adaptive Strategies beginning with the November 29 rebalance for the month of December. In each case, the focus has been on improving control over the upper bounds of portfolio volatility, improving the consistency of annual returns, and on reducing fund turnover.

In order to provide the fullest possible disclosure, the Chart and Table displays on the website will include tables for both the original (labeled “Repl Dec 2019)” and upgraded Strategy beginning with the next update in early December.

The primary benefit of changes to Adaptive Income is a broadening of the fund basket and reduction in both Standard Deviation of Monthly Returns and the Ulcer Index:

  • Fund basket and condition eligibility: the number of fixed income ETFs was increased from 5 to 6 to broaden the basket to include an investment grade ETF.
  • Fund selection: no change to fund selection method (Adaptive Dynamic Momentum)
  • Weighting of selected funds: Adaptive Income employed a single selection, 100% weighting to the best performing fund. Limited Portfolio Volatility Weighting is employed to cap the expected total portfolio volatility when higher volatility funds (especially high yield) are used. This forces the allocation across a second, lower volatility fund when the cap is exceeded.
  • Position Optimization: Upgraded which slightly improves holding periods and performance.
  • Full Cycle: CAGR increased slightly from 10.6% to 11.1%; Max Monthly Drawdown increased from 2.9% to 3.8% however Max Daily Drawdown remains unchanged at 7.1%; and the Up/Down Ratio rose from 503.0% to 556.9%. The Ulcer Index declined from 1.3% to 1.2% and Standard Deviation of Monthly Returns declined from 5.6% to 5.1% reflecting improved consistency of returns.

A Caveat

A 35+ year secular bull market in both equities and bonds began in 1982. The last cyclical bull market in equities (and to a lesser extent, bonds) began 10 years ago. Returns during these periods have been historically exceptional. Market returns for the next 10 years are highly unlikely to approach those of the past 10. In fact, there is at least some evidence that market returns have a high probability of being significantly lower and that bonds and equities (which have risen together) may actually begin working at cross purposes.

Investors should not use the statistics shown for our strategies to establish expectations of specific levels of returns or drawdowns. Investors should, however, appreciate that we believe the principles which underlie the Tactical Adaptive Global, Tactical Adaptive Income, and Tactical Adaptive Innovation Strategies are enduring enough to significantly outperform the market in the future, both in lowering risk and in improving returns.

 

I will be rolling out upgrades to the Tactical Model and Adaptive Strategies beginning with the November 29 rebalance for the month of December. In each case, the focus has been on improving control over the upper bounds of portfolio volatility, improving the consistency of annual returns, and on reducing fund turnover.

In order to provide the fullest possible disclosure, the Chart and Table displays on the website will include tables for both the original (labeled “Repl Dec 2019)” and upgraded Strategy beginning with the next update in early December.

This upgrade to Adaptive Innovation improves performance while significantly reducing volatility.

  • Fund basket and condition eligibility: The existing long duration Treasury ETF was added to the eligible funds for Balanced conditions. This allows strongly performing Treasuries to complete effectively with the Innovation equities for selection. A short duration Treasury ETF was added to provide a higher yielding alternative to cash.
  • Fund selection: no change to fund selection method (Adaptive Dynamic Momentum)
  • Weighting of selected funds: Volatility Weighting was replaced with Limited Portfolio Volatility Weighting which is employed to cap the expected total portfolio volatility when the higher volatility Innovation funds are used. This forces the allocation across a second or third fund when the volatility of the primary fund(s) exceeds the cap.
  • Position Optimization: Upgraded which made no change in holding periods and performance.
  • Partial cycle: CAGR increased slightly from 26.3% to 28.4%,  Max Monthly Drawdown and Maximum Daily Drawdown remained unchanged at 12.2% and 19.2% respectively; and the Up/Down Ratio increased from 280.2% to 336.9%. The Ulcer Index declined from 5.6% to 5.1% and Standard Deviation of Monthly Returns declined from 15.7% to 14.9% reflecting improved consistency of returns.

A Caveat

A 35+ year secular bull market in both equities and bonds began in 1982. The last cyclical bull market in equities (and to a lesser extent, bonds) began 10 years ago. Returns during these periods have been historically exceptional. Market returns for the next 10 years are highly unlikely to approach those of the past 10. In fact, there is at least some evidence that market returns have a high probability of being significantly lower and that bonds and equities (which have risen together) may actually begin working at cross purposes.

Investors should not use the statistics shown for our strategies to establish expectations of specific levels of returns or drawdowns. Investors should, however, appreciate that we believe the principles which underlie the Tactical Adaptive Global, Tactical Adaptive Income, and Tactical Adaptive Innovation Strategies are enduring enough to significantly outperform the market in the future, both in lowering risk and in improving returns.