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« Comparing Online Reports: The Case of Fannie Mae | Main | Evaluating a Complete Cycle »

November 20, 2007



Ron -

We trade the model every day as one of our methods. In our series about system-building, ETF's, and sector trading we have been doing a weekly update each Thursday night, based upon Wednesday closing data. As of last week the table showed that 7 out of 44 were still "buys" and we held five positions. This was down from all 44 in the buy range at one point.

Renae will post our weekly update on Friday this week with actual sale dates and current ratings. As I indicated here (an advance peek at the weekly update) there are no longer any "buys."

I'll try to provide an oerview of the complete cycle.

Thanks for the question!


ron dunn

This following link took me to 11/11/07 and I can't tell how it says no sectors are a buy.Am I missing something? Is there more current data? Thanks.

"we follow the discipline of market signals in a portion of our trading -- that governed by our TCA-ETF model, which shows zero sector buys out of 44 choices, and recommends a short on all indices. Our positions are duly hedged."

Mike C


Thanks for the response as always. I was hoping for a little more specificity on the why and magnitude of the hedging, but I can understand and appreciate if that info is proprietary. I've read all the TCA-ETF posts and they give a glimpse, but leave alot of the specific details unknown.

To be clear, I have my own system, analytical criteria, and discipline for deciding the extent of my hedging and defensiveness (based on my valuation models and technical criteria) so I'm not looking to take yours.

One theme of your blog is pointing out what others in the blogosphere and various pundits say about the overall market and economy. You've been consistently bullish because of your preferred stock valuation model which has been correct for the last 1-2 years, although again my view is valuation is irrelevant over that time frame.

Maybe there is an individual investor who invested a lump sum amount sometime this year in a broad index fund or ETF because he read and heard alot about the broad market being undervalued relative to bonds. What does he do at this point? Do those who have been unabashedly bullish owe that investor any follow-up directives on what to do now? Should he be instructed on hedging action to take if others have taken such action? Probably not as each investor really is responsible for his own decisions, and ALL information presented on the Internet whether bullish or bearish should be viewed from a "buyer beware" perspective.

This may yet just be another correction in an ongoing bull market, although the evidence is beginning to mount that it is the beginning of a bear market. The broad market buy and hold investor should be mentally prepared to withstand a substantial drawdown so that he does not panic and sell at the bottom. Again, 20 to 30% market declines every 5 years or so is the historical NORM. This last 5 years has been more of a historical aberration so if it happens here it really shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.

On a different note, Happy Thanksgiving!


"I'm bullish as all get out and my Black Box couldn't be screaming "BUY!" any lounder.

Not that this is stopping the bears from running roughshod over my portfolio..."

Stand on principle....

Sure, you may lose your shirt and more, but at least you won't be catering to those you consider fools.....


Good linkages! Although, isn't there a rule against linking to Barry twice in the same blog entry?

I'm bullish as all get out and my Black Box couldn't be screaming "BUY!" any lounder.

Not that this is stopping the bears from running roughshod over my portfolio...

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, Dr. Jeff.

Josh Stern

I liked the description of "lollapaloozas" in this article:

The concept also applies to the media. People often have incentives to produce punditry about stuff they don't understand very well, so they bias the story to go where they think the crowd is headed. Anyone who wants to go against the crowd should realize that the self-reinforcing nature of this herding allows it to continue in the momentum direction for a long time - longer than one expects.



We use the TCA model for sector trading, one of our approaches. The TCA model uses both trend and cyclical factors applied to each sector. We have described this (each Thursday) over the last few months. It did pretty well at finding good sectors and holding on to gains in a relatively short time period. Renae will post an update on Friday this week.

We certainly do not follow a "sell at the bottom" style. Our methods based upon fundamentals currently have a long list of very attractive stocks at current prices.

Thanks for the question.



Josh -

Thanks for passing the links along. It is certainly worth a chuckle and shows the need for LINQCRED when reading!



Mike -

We manage accounts differently according to investor needs and the type of account. In long only programs we adjust with cash levels and stock choices, but performance comes from themes that play out over time.

The sector rotation fund, where we have given a glimpse in the TCA-ETF series, can be 100% in cash or even a little short.

We also have a fund that combines our fundamental and system approaches, uses options, and hedges with futures. That approach is net long when we see stocks as undervalued, but the actual percentage varies with the TCA signal.

So it is a combination of everything we write about. Both the fundamental and system approaches have done well over time and through a full market cycle.

Thanks for the question. You are correct in noting that combining various approaches requires a disciplined plan. Otherwise you are just substituting hunches for a real method.



I was going to ask a similar question. The market is down significantly and none of your sectors are signaling a buy? What factors would shift your model to the buy side? Did the model give sell signals before this recent sell off?

Jeff, I admire the info you put out here, but the sell everything when the market is down mentality really baffles me.

Josh Stern

Primary source:

Secondary report:

Too funny.

Mike C

"Regular readers know that we are more optimistic on the economy that the market suggests. The biggest source of outsize gains comes from figuring out when the market is over-reacting.

****Having said this, we follow the discipline of market signals in a portion of our trading -- that governed by our TCA-ETF model, which shows zero sector buys out of 44 choices, and recommends a short on all indices. ****Our positions are duly hedged."****

Interesting comments. How do you personally weigh what your market signals are telling you which I assume is based on some combination of technical analysis and price momentum versus what your opinion on the economy and stock valuations are (which seem to be in opposition)?

I assume you are still optimistic on the economy and believe stocks are substantially undervalued per your preferred metric of forward operatings earnings yield versus bond yields. I would think just considering that in isolation would lead to a 100% *UNHEDGED* equity position so I am assuming you use some technical factors to become more defensive regardless of positive views on the economy and stock valuations.

Not trying to be an inquisitor, but I've wondered for some time how those in the "economy is strong, stocks are substantially undervalued camp" might make adjustments to portfolios if and when it looks like the probability of rolling over into a bear market has increased.

A normal, typical bear market decline of 30% would eliminate a good chunk of the gain of the S&P 500 over this bull market which began in late 2002/early 2003. Of course, individual stock/sector pickers could fare much differently then the overall market. If you care to share, I think it would be interesting and enlightening to get more color on the details of your hedging, the why and the magnitude.

To be clear, I have NO strong opinion one way or another as far as bull or bear market. I've believed fundamental valuations on the market are unattractive for awhile (looking at P/E on normalized earnings rather than forward estimates) but that it will take 7-10 years for that to manifest itself in cumulative returns (valuation doesn't matter over a couple of years).

Meanwhile, one (and I have) can benefit from riding the upward technical trend and good individual stock/sector-picking instead of sitting in cash (pull the trigger). According to Dow Theory, we are at a criticial juncture. The August lows have still held and the Industrials have NOT confirmed the breakdown in the Transports. It's still a bull market, but I'm prepared to substantially increase my hedging/defense via my preferred mutual fund for that objective if those signals go bearish.

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