Tactical Asset Allocation – September 2016

September was much like August ... it went up and down ... but with positive results for both strategies. We’ve had a good run from the late June swoon and the market deserved a rest. Both the US and Global Core strategies have maintained a broad market mix of large, mid and small cap stocks along with some fixed income and that has provided us with a low volatility portfolio. Global Core had success early in the year with small positions in precious metals but the same positions produced slightly negative results this summer.

The US Core Strategy returned +0.19% in September and 6.85% YTD

For the Year-To-Date:

  • Compound Annual Growth Rate is 9.23%,
  • Maximum Daily Drawdown 3.7%

For the past 12 months:

  • Compound Annual Growth Rate 5.96%
  • Maximum Daily Drawdown 3.7%

Average exposure by asset class for the past 12 months:

  • 30% Equity
  • 51% Fixed Income
  • 0% Alternative
  • 19% Cash

Full metrics for the past 9+- years are included in the Performance Tables.

The Global Core Strategy returned +.48% in September and 7.45% YTD.

For the Year-To-Date:

  • Compound Annual Growth Rate is 10.05%,
  • Maximum Daily Drawdown 2.7%

For the past 12 months:

  • Compound Annual Growth Rate 6.66%
  • Maximum Daily Drawdown 2.7%

Average exposure by asset class for the past 12 months:

  • 22% Equity
  • 47% Fixed Income
  • 6% Alternative
  • 25% Cash

Full metrics for the past 9+- years are included in the Performance Tables.

Global Satellite has been out of the market since December 1, 2014 due to Hostile market conditions. Global Core + Global Satellite, using 100% switching, shows a 16.38% Compound Annual Growth Rate and 13.7% Maximum Daily Drawdown since September 1, 2007.

My personal commitment to Global Core increased to 40% in September and our personal portfolios will be equal weight US Core and Global Core for October. Having spent 3+ months designing and testing Global Core, I can say that I think Global Core is especially well constructed for unknown future market conditions. It also pairs extremely well with Global Satellite. I may continue to shift my personal allocation more in favor of Global Core.

The Core Strategy Models look for longer trends and tell us how to position the portfolio for the month ahead. We rebalance it and forget it until the next rebalance. Is it perfect? No. But over the long term it does better than most humans and does so with very little effort and relatively small drawdowns.

 

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Our standard tables are constructed for one full market cycle beginning in October 2007. The fund baskets for our tactical strategies are constructed from Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) with just two exceptions, an Open End Fund and a Closed End Fund, both with long history. Fund sponsors did not begin the heavy rollout of Exchange Traded Funds until 2005 - 2006 so prior history is often unavailable.

We make extensive use of index funds and most of those have predecessor Open End Funds (OEFs) using the same index,. We use infill from Open End Funds to construct fund "similar" tables for two full market cycles beginning in 2000. In each case where we have used an Open End Fund for infill, we consider the indexing and/or subclass to be substantially similar to the ETF. Aside from providing insight into possible strategy performance during a second cycle, they also offer the advantage of completely out of sample data.

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.

Our standard tables are constructed for one full market cycle beginning in October 2007. The fund baskets for our tactical strategies are constructed from Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) with just two exceptions, an Open End Fund and a Closed End Fund, both with long history. Fund sponsors did not begin the heavy rollout of Exchange Traded Funds until 2005 - 2006 so prior history is often unavailable.

We make extensive use of index funds and most of those have predecessor Open End Funds (OEFs) using the same index,. We use infill from Open End Funds to construct fund "similar" tables for two full market cycles beginning in 2000. In each case where we have used an Open End Fund for infill, we consider the indexing and/or subclass to be substantially similar to the ETF. Aside from providing insight into possible strategy performance during a second cycle, they also offer the advantage of completely out of sample data.

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.

Our standard tables are constructed for one full market cycle beginning in October 2007. The fund baskets for our tactical strategies are constructed from Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) with just two exceptions, an Open End Fund and a Closed End Fund, both with long history. Fund sponsors did not begin the heavy rollout of Exchange Traded Funds until 2005 - 2006 so prior history is often unavailable.

The Innovation ETFs used in the Innovation Strategy were not established until 2014-2015 so our history is limited. There are no predecessor funds which are similar enough to use for infill.

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.