Results for search of category: Harlyn’s process

Is it Time for Commodities?

We know how to incorporate commodities into our asset allocation process. Over the last 25 years as a whole, our process would have generated significant outperformance on an absolute and risk-adjusted basis. This is achieved by systematically managing exposure to a limited number of commodities: oil, gold and copper only, and by actively managing a small number of other assets, spread across equities and fixed income. Passive exposures don’t work as well and too many assets create unnecessary and counter-productive complexity. The problem with including commodities is that US exceptionalism in equities, currencies and fixed income has made this strategy unattractive since 2010. If you think that this regime may be ending, it may be time to take another look at commodities.  [Read More... ]

Dropping Bunds as the Benchmark

It’s time to restructure our euro-denominated fixed income portfolio. The yield on 7-10 year German bunds is too negative for comfort and they no longer offer the best way of creating risk-efficient portfolios. A pan-euro index of government bonds with the same maturity has done this more effectively for the last two years and we believe it offers a safer and more liquid benchmark asset.  [Read More... ]

Prices Move Before the News

One of the great virtues of our process is that it is sensitive enough to identify sudden changes in the relationship between risk and return, which have no apparent justification in real life – until the news story which prompted them finally breaks. We have just had a classic example of this with the resignation of Prime Minister Abe, which was announced in late August, eight weeks after our weighting in Japan was suddenly reduced. There is always an explanation, even if you don’t what it is, and this note highlights ten other recent moves at sector or country level, which we think are only partially explained.  [Read More... ]

Lessons from a Fast Market

Yesterday’s sell-off was so brutal that it probably marks the start of a different regime in equity markets. We are out of Phase 1 of the recovery and into a second more sceptical and nervous regime. Both the US and the UK broke of out the uptrends in our daily indicator that have been in place since March. The technical situation is better in the Eurozone and Japan, while the level of financial repression is China so severe, in our view, that the indicator has lost most of its signalling power.  [Read More... ]

Re-Configuring the S&P Sectors

Well-designed sectors make portfolio management easier, but that means that the definitions need to be reviewed and refreshed on a regular basis. We believe we have arrived at that moment in the US. We propose splitting the Tech sector into two, combining Materials with Industrials and Energy with Utilities. We find that it is easier to generate systematic outperformance using the new definitions.  [Read More... ]

No Crystal Ball

We cannot hope to forecast all the social and economic consequences of the pandemic, but we can construct a model which allows us to observe to their impact on equities in real-time. Our new daily models are based on the same process as our weekly models. They outperformed during three similar crises in 1998, 2002 and 2008. They also suggest that US Equities will not regain their recent highs before the model reaches a point where previous mid-crisis rallies have come to an end.  [Read More... ]

Two Week Warning

Our standard PRATER process is well-correlated with the subsequent performance of equities vs bonds. However, the relationship decays when we get close to extremes. Here, we can use a modified RSI approach to estimate the potential for mean reversion. Our 25-year data set indicates that equities are particularly vulnerable when they have been accelerating too hard (RSI) in relation to the speed at which they are travelling relative to bonds (PRATER). Presently, they are accelerating too hard, but the difference is not yet critical. At current progress, global equities will enter the danger zone in about two weeks, after which the probability of a high single-digit correction vs bonds rises sharply.  [Read More... ]

Message from the Black Box

Our models are actually very simple but they often look like a black box to outsiders. We have three separate indicators which all suggest that July will be a dangerous period for US equities. All of them are based on the way in which our models have behaved over the last 24 years. Of course, things may be different this time. We will just have to wait and see.  [Read More... ]


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