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Jeff Diercks
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Jeff Diercks, is an investapreneur and recovering CPA. He actively trades his own money and manages the assets of a select group of clients at InTrust Advisors, a Tampa, Florida based wealth management firm focused on trend following and price momentum strategies utilizing ETF securities. Mr.... More
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  • The Best Of

    As we approach the holidays and year end, I thought it might be beneficial that I recap some of our best blog posts of the past. Here they are since they are sometimes hard to find on our site once we get past the most recent posts:

    Five Ways to Profit with - five ways to make the most of this site, while protecting your capital and enhancing long-term results.

    The Bull is Now 55 Months Old - Of course now the bull is 56 months old, but the theme of this post is still valid.

    Get Rid of Your Investment Worries Once and For All! - Wouldn't we all want a little less worry? This video lays out our thesis for how this is possible even in today's complex world.

    What is Your Popular Online Broker Not Sharing With You - Picking the right broker is almost as important as the trade itself. See what you should be looking for in a new broker.

    The ABCs of Beta Exposure - What is beta and how can it be used in better managing portfolio risk?

    How Exposed Are You? A Brief Lesson in Exposure! - Exposure in investing is not the same as what Lindsey Lohan or Kim Kardashian seek. In this post, we tell you what it is and how to measure it.

    Don't Cede Control Instead Think Outside the Box! - Investors are less inclined to give up control over their investment assets today than anytime in history. This is of course ok as long as you have a plan. We give you some ideas for that plan here.

    Answers to the Four Biggest Questions in Investing! - Some basic tenants of investing to help you understand whether stocks are cheap or expense, the economy is doing well or not, stock valuations are at dangerous levels or cheap, and do simple trend following strategies beat the stock market and more.

    Evaluating Who You Are! - Being a good trader or investor starts with knowing thyself. Find out why!

    Be Objective, Subjective Analysis is for Losers! - What does it mean to be objective and how can it help you with investing? We answer this age old question here.

    Join us in our next post as we recap more of the Best of between now and the new year.

    Dec 16 9:17 AM | Link | Comment!
  • Performance For November 2013

    November continued the recent equity market trend of higher markets as the Federal Reserve's continued Quantitative Easing (QE) program continued to flood the markets with liquidity that had no place to go but into equities.

    (click to enlarge)

    I have stated for months that this is a bubble that will end badly, but as a trend follower you have to go with the trend, which at this time is up. How do I know it's a bubble, easy healthy markets correct from time to time. Unhealthy markets just shoot to the moon with little economic rational or earnings to back them up.

    Welcome to the bubble!

    Of course I am not alone in my feelings. Just this morning Nobel Prize winner (Robert Shuler) warned of a U.S. stock market bubble. He nailed the last housing bubble, so I tend to listen when his research flashes trouble ahead.

    So what is a good trend follower to do? I already answered this one, ride the bubble for all its worth and follow the signals closely when they do flash sell. Performance did very well in November. We were long the major market indexes the entire month and captured 100% of the upward move. We also profited nicely in the move down in gold prices, but stumbled a bit in our long position in commodities and our short of the U.S. dollar.

    Here are the results for the month and trailing three month, year-to-date and prior year periods.

    (click to enlarge)

    (click to enlarge)

    Market Forecast

    Just in case you are wondering why we are trailing the S&P 500, please realize the above sample portfolio returns are diversified. Diversification smooths returns but can reduce relative returns during certain periods where one index, in this case the benchmark S&P 500, is outperforming most indexes.

    Also realize that the Central Bank's meddling in the markets has created havoc with our trend following models over the past several years. The have intervened time and again just when appears trends have changed and we have recommitted capital. This quick reversal of fortunes has been hard on our trend following models since they tend to react slower than the underlying benchmark indexes to changes in direction. This then has costs us returns.

    Luckily Central Banks are running out of bullets and options which should benefit our strategies with smoother index movements. Our models tend to do extremely well in Bear markets so this will also help us over the longer term.

    In the short-term, however, we expect global stock markets to continue to trend higher with shallow periods of consolidation. This trend could continue all the way through May of 2014 when seasonality trends turn more negative.

    In our recent post entitled, The Bull is Now 55 Months Old!, we made the case that this bull phase is getting old. Now another month older and closer to the average Bear Market length of 67 months, we believe we could see the next Bear Market start sometime in the third quarter of 2014.

    Make sure you are ready! A 30 day trial of is free.

    Dec 02 10:28 AM | Link | Comment!
  • Five Ways To Profit With Signals

    Subscribers are always asking me "What is the best way to profit from using's buy and sell signals?"

    There are so many that I thought I would list out the Top Five. Here they are:

    1. Build A Diversified Portfolio is an easy way to build a diversified portfolio of positions that each have their own set of buy and sell signals.

    Not every position in your portfolio will always go up in together with other positions. So why not build a portfolio that gets separate buy or sell signals on each piece? It is easy to do with our seven indexes!

    We even offer a few sample portfolios you can use in our member's area.

    2. Hedge Another Portfolio

    This is an option that few think about buy with all the leveraged ETFs out there, you can use one or more sets of signals to hedge another long-only portfolio.

    Let's assume you commit 70% of your capital to the long-only portfolio and the balance to your hedge. Let's assume you hedge with our signals for the S&P 500.

    You will make money in a bull market and then get signals to move to inverse ETFs in a bear market. If when you get the sell signal you buy a 2x leveraged inverse ETF, you would be effectively hedging 60% of your overall stock market with your net exposure just 10% long.

    Not a bad way to sit out a bear market!

    3. Portfolio Management

    I don't know how many times I ask potential clients for our advisory business "are you prepared for the next bear market?"

    They typically answer "no."

    I then suggest to them that they at least should know where the door is and when to exit through it.'s signals are a great way of gaining that intelligence. In fact our most stable and least likely to change signal, the S&P 500 buy and sell signals, may be just the ticket you need to find that exit and protect capital when the time comes.

    4. Market Exposure

    What if you looked at your current portfolio and then selected our index signals that most closely matched? You could then use the cumulative signals as your exposure meter.

    Let me explain how this might work in an example.

    Let's say you have a simple portfolio that 60% U.S. equities, 20% commodities and 20% international. So you would select our S&P 500 signals for the U.S. equity component. The DB Commodity index signals for the commodity piece and EAFE signals for the international allocation.

    Now let's say they are all on "buy" signals. Your exposure would then be 100%.

    However, let's say we issue a "sell" on the EAFE index. You would then have just two signals on a "buy" equaling 80% of your portfolio. So you might use those cumulative buy signals to reduce your overall portfolio exposure to 80%.

    In other words, use the buy signals as your cumulative measure of how much of your capital to have at risk at any given time.

    5. Manage 401(k) Risk

    For many people this is their largest liquid asset. So why do we just add money and never change the allocation, even in bear markets?

    Don't be that deer in the headlights when the next bear market comes! Instead use our signals to move to cash in your 401k and then back into equities when the coast in clear.

    Just using our S&P 500 signals for this purpose will more than pay for your subscription in protected capital when that mean old bear finally comes!

    I hope this helps. I you can think of other uses, give me a shout out. In the mean time, please consider a 30 day free trial of

    Nov 18 11:52 AM | Link | Comment!
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