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  • The Oil Trade Update [View article]
    Not 46.67%, Edmond; the return was 6.67%.
    Feb 22, 2015. 11:24 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bull Markets Climb A Wall Of Worry -- So Where Are We Now? [View article]

    What is the "8.5% repatriation tax", please? I am a Canadian investing (primarily) in US ETFs. Will I soon be subject to an 8.5% tax?

    Feb 21, 2015. 05:02 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Oil Trade Update [View article]
    One follow-on question, Ploutos, if you will. You use one-month periods to assess whether to be in or out of an oil ETF. Did you experiment with shorter periods? If so, I assume that shorter ones were not beneficial, right?
    Feb 20, 2015. 10:07 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Oil Trade Update [View article]
    Understood. But the point of reading research articles is to inform our actual investment strategies, no? I'd say that your version of momentum investing does provide an acceptable return with the right type of asset. With SPY, your strategy provided an annualized return of 16.45% (versus 10.79% for buy&hold).

    I'll take you word for it that an oil ETF returned -40%, versus a still-meager 6.67% for the momentum strategy.

    So, to conclude, your strategy provides a satisfactory return with SPY, but not with an oil ETF.
    Feb 20, 2015. 10:03 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Oil Trade Update [View article]
    I wanted to test the strategy myself.

    I selected USO because it behaves much like many other oil ETFs. I started arbitrarily at the end of August 2010, and finished arbitrarily at the end of January 2012. I stress that the time frame was chosen arbitrarily to avoid curve fitting.

    I used end of day closing prices.

    I followed the strategy: if USO's return was positive for the month, I invested or stayed in. If negative I exited or stayed out.

    The net result was an interest or growth rate of 0.54% per month, or 6.67% annualized. I would be looking for a better return than that for such a risky investment.
    Feb 19, 2015. 03:11 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A View From The Top: 3 Looks At Market Multiples [View article]
    I was, of course, being facetious asking for a sell signal 1 day before the next crash. And yes, I see the wisdom of taking some risk off the table via higher-quality stocks etc etc.

    But as for getting into now-beaten-up areas like Europe and oil, that could be like catching a falling knife until we are reasonably sure that the declines are over and the rebound a secure one. This (for me) means losing out on some of the rebound by waiting to get the lay of the land, and getting in during the middle of the rise.

    This is a combination of fundamental analysis but a LOT of momentum investing. What I think should be happening in the market (but isn't) is trumped by what is actually happening in the market (and who cares why). I.E. momentum investing.

    How to do this without getting blinded (and blindsided) by day-to-day or even week-to-week gyrations? ETF Replay helps.

    Disclosure: I have no connection with ETF Replay.
    Feb 17, 2015. 09:28 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Hidden Risk Of High Dividend Growth Stocks [View article]
    So then, Kurtis, if the stocks you tested managed to increase dividends in the severe crucible of 2008, yet some subsequently failed, what were the reasons for failure?

    Are there any lessons to be learned from such analysis?

    I understand your qualification that you are not proposing a trading/investing model in this article, only testing a few variables. But you can understand, I expect, that we readers want to incorporate your findings into our actual strategies, to test your findings against our own experiences. This is a form of compliment, in my view.
    Feb 17, 2015. 09:12 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • A View From The Top: 3 Looks At Market Multiples [View article]
    Trouble is, we've been reading articles calling the market expensive for a long time now. Had we exited the market then, we'd have lost a lot of money.

    What we want, author, is a signal for when to exit this expensive market 1 day before the crash. Make it happen, will you? :-)
    Feb 16, 2015. 12:11 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Hidden Risk Of High Dividend Growth Stocks [View article]
    I too am surprised that the income from a portfolio of dividend-growth stocks apparently declined in 2013. Can't understand why. Perhaps this warrants an explanatory article on its own, Kurtis?

    Regarding the risk of a company's cutting its dividend precisely when the stock price has plummeted, this is indeed the nightmare scenario for dividend-growth investors. But the Dividend Aristocrats list managed by David Fish contains only stocks that survived the 2008 bear market and managed to keep increasing dividends. If these companies managed to do this, surely one could have reasonable confidence that they would survive (even if not thrive) in equally-dire conditions in future, no? If this assumption is wrong, if a significant number of stocks examined managed to increase dividends in 2008 but subsequently failed, this too would seem to warrant an explanatory article.
    Feb 16, 2015. 12:06 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dividend Aristocrats + Equal Weighting Has Beat Market For 14 Of 15 Years [View article]
    The last time I checked, Dale, RSP had a higher return than SPY (using SPY representing the broad market) but a higher standard deviation. The Sharpe ratios for both were similar, with only the slightest advantage for RSP. So, not really a "significant beat".
    Feb 8, 2015. 12:29 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dividend Aristocrats + Equal Weighting Has Beat Market For 14 Of 15 Years [View article]
    Just glancing at the cumulative numbers, the Dividend Aristocrats seem superior to the S&P 500, but RSP not so. Bringing RSP into the portfolio degrades performance. Why not just go with the Aristocrats? I
    Feb 7, 2015. 01:02 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Is The End Beginning For The Euro Dream? [View article]
    I thought the bailout money came from other European Common Market (ECM) nations, not the Greek people.

    A concern is that if the ECM lets Greece escape its financial responsibilities now, a number of "weaker" ECM members will be encouraged to act like Argentina: spend now, whine about repaying debt later.

    If this should happen, the end of the ECM would seem to be inevitable.
    Feb 5, 2015. 10:34 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Portfolio Update [View article]
    I was inspired by your articles to consider a similar system.

    However, I have several conceptual concerns, and a certain ways of fixing these concerns, that I would like to get your opinions on.

    (1) First is lack of diversification, not because 4 ETFs are too few, but rather because your system loads up on ETFs of a similar type (right now it's heavy in Bond ETFs). If Bond ETFs were to decline as a group, this portfolio would be in trouble.

    Instead, I suggest choosing the top 4 different types of ETF. For example, if two Dividend ETFs (e.g. DVY and SDY) were among the top 4, I'd choose the higher of the two. Then I'd pass on down the Replay list until I got to the next, different type of ETF (e.g. a Real Estate ETF), and so on. Your opinion?

    (2) Second is the look-back period. I did some rough (not exhaustive) testing and found that looking back 6 months for performance was too long. ETFs that had reached their zenith and were now declining were still too high in the Replay list. Using 6-month and 3-month look-back periods seems to make the Replay list too slow to adapt to changes in the momentum of market sectors.

    Instead, I use 3-month (40% weighting) and 22-day (30% weighting) periods, with volatility set at 3 months (30% weighting). This seems a good compromise, allowing the Replay list to recognize changes in momentum before the trend is over, yet not get fooled / whipsawed by short-term momentum shifts (i.e. avoiding flashes-in-the-pan). Again I'd appreciate your views.

    (3) Third is the safety feature of going to cash where the ETF is below SHY. Good idea. But in a serious market downturn one's portfolio can decline a LOT before the monthly review / portfolio rebalancing. Do you have a different signal that tells you to go to cash, such as where an ETFs suddenly declines more than it ever has over (say) a 3-year period? If so, what are your "go-to-cash" signals?

    (4) Related to this, an ETF may be above SHY on the Replay list, but below SHY on a one-month price chart. Do you still invest in the ETF?

    (5) Fifth is the review period. I expect that you tested different intervals to review the portfolio and found the one-month interval to be the best. But in a quickly-changing market, a weekly review seems safer and more responsive. I'd value your comparison of the two periods.

    Finally, how has your portfolio been performing compared to (say) the S&P 500? I am interested because I think you might be on to something valuable here, a system based on strong momentum but not flashes-in-the-pan, combined with a safety go-to-cash feature..
    Feb 3, 2015. 11:37 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Vanguard High Dividend ETF Doesn't Play Well With Bears [View article]

    You've made that point before, Dale, and I admit I don't follow you. I think YOC is very relevant to my retirement income.

    Example: I invest $100 in a dividend stock that offers an initial 3% dividend yield. The dividend grows at (say) 15% per year, so that in ten years (the hypothetical time of retirement) the stock is producing a dividend of $12. That's $12 on my original investment of $100 = 12%, which will grow even fatter during retirement, and all I have to do is the occasional monitoring to ensure that the stock remains solid.

    How does that income "not have any relevance" to my retirement? If I could get the same YOC on all investments in preparation for retirement, I'd be set.
    Jan 31, 2015. 01:34 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Respect The Trends In These 'Widowmaker' Trades [View article]

    I think it was Keynes who said that the market can remain irrational long after we go bankrupt (waiting for the inevitable trend to occur). So, to say that oil will recover is not saying anything useful unless you say approximately WHEN the trend will commence.

    If you cannot predict, then you must react, by waiting for the rebound to start convincingly, then invest in oil.

    How to know when the recovery has begun, how to know the bounce is for real and not just a head fake before a continuation of the decline? Ah ... that's the trick.
    Jan 29, 2015. 02:42 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment