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Cliff Smith's  Instablog

Cliff Smith
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I am currently a retired Aerospace Engineer. I am married with three children and eight grandchildren. I was born in San Francisco, CA in 1949 and moved to Newport News, VA in 1951 where I lived until I went to college. By God's grace, I received a B.S. degree from Virginia Tech (1972), a M.S.... More
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  • QTS Selection For 6/30/2015: VB (Or NAESX)

    Please use this information at your own risk.

    The QTS strategy has selected VB as the top-ranked ETF for the third quarter, 2015. For the mutual fund version, NAESX was the top-ranked fund.

    VB and NAESX pass their 3-month SMAs, so they are the picks this quarter.

    Last quarter, this strategy picked the cash fund. If you selected the original cash fund (VUSTX or TLT), you would have lost 8.7% or 9.6% respectively for the second quarter. If you opted to go to pure cash (my option), you would have lost nothing last quarter.

    Jun 30 8:17 PM | Link | 5 Comments
  • QTS Pick For 3/31/2015: TLT (Or VUSTX)

    Please use this information at your own risk.

    The QTS strategy has selected VNQ as the top-ranked ETF for the second quarter, 2015. VNQ barely beat out VB. For the mutual fund version, VGSIX was the top-ranked fund.

    But VNQ did not pass its 3-month SMA. It was quite close, but the 3-month SMA was just below the quarter-end value of VNQ. Thus, the cash ETF is selected (in this case TLT). For the mutual fund version, the cash is VUSTX.

    A safer cash position would be SHY (or just pure cash). But I will leave that for you to decide.

    For the first quarter, QTS selected VNQ; its return was 4.7%, For comparison, the S&P 500 returned 0.9% in the first quarter of 2015.

    Mar 31 8:04 PM | Link | 3 Comments
  • No Longer Posting Updates

    I have decided to stop tracking and updating the tactical strategies I have developed over the past year. Many of these strategies were based on very limited backtesting, and I now feel that a strategy needs to be tested back to at least 2003, and preferably back to before 2000. I now believe either monthly or quarterly updating is preferred over semi-monthly updating. I no longer invest in the following strategies: Bond-Only Strategy, the Low Volatility Strategy, the Rising Rates Bond Strategy, the Unified Bond Strategy, or the Unified Tactical Strategy.

    Versions of what I consider to be my best strategies are listed below:

    1. The high yield - municipal pair-hedge strategy. One such combination is HYLD-HYMB. Both can be held except when either one (or both) fails its cash filter. The cash filter for HYLD is 3d-25d SMAs, while for HYMB, it is 3d-18d SMAs. SMAs should be based on total returns (dividends included) and can be found at stockcharts.com for free. This strategy has been backtested to 1996 using mutual fund proxies.

    By the way, I will continue to send out alert emails for the HYLD-cash strategy.

    2. The equity-long term treasury hedge strategy in which both ETFs are held except when either one (or both) fail their respective cash filters. This hedge strategy can be used with unleveraged ETFs (e.g. SPY-TLT) or leveraged ETFs (SPXL-TMF). These strategies have been discussed in my articles. The hedge strategy with the unleveraged assets has been backtested to the mid-1990s using mutual fund proxies.

    3. The Quarterly Tactical Strategy, QTS. This strategy has been backtested to mid-1999, and has shown excellent CAGR and modest drawdown. Please refer to my article on this strategy.

    Thank you for your interest.

    Cliff

    Feb 16 2:14 PM | Link | 14 Comments
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