Seeking Alpha

Bulletproof Investing Performance Update: Week 93

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Includes: ARRY, AU, BA, BBD, BRZU, CMG, DLTR, EEFT, GTN, IRDM, MKTX, NXST, NYT, SBGI, SBUX, SPY, VMW, WIX, XLNX
by: David Pinsen
Summary

It has been six months since I presented five hedged portfolios and 10 top names in week 93 of my Marketplace service (March 7). Here's how everything did.

Four out of five hedged portfolios posted positive returns, but only one outperformed its expected return (the same one that outperformed SPY).

The top ten names (unhedged) outperformed SPY. They were up 20.73% versus up 9.38% for the index ETF.

Race car driver Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky and her helmet (photo via Forbes).

Bulletproof Investing: Week 93 Performance

Each week, since the beginning of June 2017, I have presented at least two hedged portfolios created by Portfolio Armor to my Bulletproof Investing subscribers. This is an "investing with a helmet on" approach, and these portfolios are designed to last six months at most. As with any investment method, the returns with this approach will vary. But in the interests of transparency and accountability, I have promised to publicly share the final performance of everything I present, regardless of how it does.

Here, I update the final performance of the five hedged portfolios and the top 10 names (unhedged) that I presented in the 93rd week I offered my service. Let's look at what I presented in week 93 and how it did. I close by again referring to recent changes we've made that should improve accuracy and increase performance in the future.

Portfolio 1

This was the $30,000 portfolio. The primary securities here were Nexstar Media Group (NXST) and Xilinx (XLNX). They were selected because they had the highest potential return estimates, net of hedging costs, when hedging against >13% declines, and they had share prices low enough that you could buy round lots of them for less than $10,000. The Direxion Daily Brazil Bull 3x ETF (BRZU) was added in a fine-tuning step to absorb leftover cash from rounding down to round lots of the first two names.

The image above was generated by Portfolio Armor on March 7 and presented in this Marketplace post at the time.

The worst-case scenario for this portfolio was a decline of 12.2% (the "max drawdown"), and the best-case scenario was a gain of 21.94% (the "Net Potential Return" or aggregate potential return net of hedging cost). The "Expected Return" of 7.96% was a ballpark estimate, taking into account the backtested relationship between actual returns and my site's potential return estimates (for portfolios created after July 26th of this year, we have modified our method of estimating expected returns - more on this below).

Portfolio 1 Performance

Here's how the portfolio did, net of hedging and trading costs.

This portfolio was down 8.24%, underperforming its expected return, of course, and underperforming the SPDR S&P 500 Trust ETF (SPY).

So far, we have six-month performance data for 41 portfolios I've presented that were hedged against >13% declines. Here's how all of them have done. (Due to Seeking Alpha rules, I can no longer include tables with links to interactive charts, so I have included screen captures instead. You can find the interactive charts for every portfolio on performance section of the Portfolio Armor website).

Table via Portfolio Armor

Portfolio 2

This was the $100k portfolio. This one included NSXT, The New York Times (NYT), Starbucks (SBUX), Xilinx as primary securities. Iridium (IRDM) was added in the fine-tuning step again to absorb cash left over from the process of rounding down to round lots of the primary securities.

The image above was generated by Portfolio Armor on March 7 and presented in this Marketplace post at the time.

The worst-case scenario for this one was a decline of 13.39%, the best-case scenario was a gain of 19.11%, and the ballpark estimate of an expected return was 7.77%.

Portfolio 2 Performance

Here's how the portfolio did, net of hedging and trading costs.

This one was basically flat, up 0.49%. So far, we have six-month performance data for 46 portfolios I've presented hedged against >14% declines. Here's how all of them have done.

Table via Portfolio Armor.

Portfolio 3

This was the $1 million portfolio. It included AngloGold Ashanti (AU), NXST, NYT, Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI), NYT, VMware (VMW) and XLNX as primary securities. IRDM was added in the fine-tuning step to absorb cash left over from the process of rounding down to round lots of the primary securities.

The image above was generated by Portfolio Armor on March 7 and presented in this Marketplace post at the time.

The worst-case scenario here was a drawdown of 14.24%, the best-case scenario was a gain of 19.36% (the net potential return), and the expected return was 7.08%.

Portfolio 3 Performance

Here's how the portfolio did, net of hedging and trading costs.

This one was up 6.61%. So far, we have six-month performance data for 65 portfolios I've presented hedged against >15% declines. Here's how all of them have done.

Table via Portfolio Armor

Portfolio 4

This was the $2 million aggressive portfolio. This one included AU Banco Bradesco (BBD), NXST, NYT, SBGI, SBUX, and XLNX as primary securities. Wix.com (WIX) was added to absorb leftover cash in the fine-tuning step.

The image above was generated by Portfolio Armor on March 7 and presented in this Marketplace post at the time.

The worst-case scenario here was the max drawdown of 19.25%, the best-case scenario was the net potential return of 21.88% and the expected return was 8.17%.

Portfolio 4 Performance

Here's how the portfolio did, net of hedging and trading costs.

This one was up 9.68%, outperforming its expected return and SPY. So far, we have six-month performance data for 74 portfolios I've presented hedged against >20% declines. Here's how all of them have done.

Table via Portfolio Armor

Portfolio 5

This was the $2 million top names portfolio. Names that appeared in this portfolio but not in the previous March 7th portfolios were Array BioPharma (ARRY) and Gray Television, Inc. (GTN).

The image above was generated by Portfolio Armor on March 7 and presented in this Marketplace post at the time.

The worst-case scenario was a drawdown of 8.38%, the best-case scenario was a gain of 18.79%, and the expected return was 6.18%.

Portfolio 5 Performance

Here's how the portfolio did, net of hedging and trading costs.

This portfolio was up 2.87%. So far, we have a full six-month performance for 89 portfolios I've presented hedged against >9% declines. Here's how each of them did.

Table via Portfolio Armor

Top Names

These were Portfolio Armor's top 10 names as of March 7. Names that didn't appear in the portfolios above were MarketAxess (MKTX) (unfortunately), Chipotle (CMG), Euronet Worldwide (EEFT), Boeing (BA), and Dollar Tree (DLTR).

The image above was generated by Portfolio Armor on March 7 and was included in the same Marketplace post as the top names portfolio above.

For this cohort, as of March 7:

  • Average 36M Beta = 0.86
  • Average 20% threshold optimal put hedging cost: 3.09%

Top Names Performance

Here's how the top names did:

The top names (unhedged) were up 20.73% on average vs. up 9.38% for SPY. So far, 51 top names cohorts have beaten SPY, one has tied SPY, and 40 have underperformed SPY over the next six months. You can see the performance for all of the top name cohorts I've presented so far in the table below.

Table via Portfolio Armor

So Portfolio Armor's top ten names averaged 7.26% over the average of these 92 6-month periods, versus SPY's average of 5.56%, an average outperformance of 1.70% over 6 months, or 3.40% annualized.

Top Names Time-Stamped

For a few months, in addition to posting those top names in my Seeking Alpha Marketplace service, I also time-stamped them on Twitter. If you click on the tweet shown below and scroll down, it will take you to a thread showing those time-stamped posts as well as charts of their subsequent performance.

Week 93 Assessment

The top 10 names (unhedged) outperformed SPY for the 51st time out of 92 weeks (we didn't post the top 10 in week 1), and four out of five hedged portfolios posted positive returns, though only one outperformed its expected return (the same one that outperformed SPY). One of the challenges here was that the hedged portfolios include up to 7 of the top 10 names, and one of the top names that didn't make it into any of the hedged portfolios was the best performer, MKTX. Note that we've incorporated data from these 93 weeks of performance updates into recent algorithm changes that should boost performance and increase accuracy for cohorts created after July 26, 2019. I described those changes here: When Strategy Meets Reality.

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.