Preface: Explaining our market timing models We maintain several market timing models, each with differing time horizons. The "Ultimate Market Timing Model" is a long-term market timing model based on the research outlined in our post, Building the ultimate market timing model. This model tends to generate only a handful of signals each decade.
The Trend Model is an asset allocation model which applies trend following principles based on the inputs of global stock and commodity price. This model has a shorter time horizon and tends to turn over about 4-6 times a year. In essence, it seeks to answer the question, "Is the trend in the global economy expansion (bullish) or contraction (bearish)?"
My inner trader uses the trading component of the Trend Model to look for changes in the direction of the main Trend Model signal. A bullish Trend Model signal that gets less bullish is a trading "sell" signal. Conversely, a bearish Trend Model signal that gets less bearish is a trading "buy" signal. The history of actual out-of-sample (not backtested) signals of the trading model are shown by the arrows in the chart below. The turnover rate of the trading model is high, and it has varied between 150% to 200% per month.
Subscribers receive real-time alerts of model changes, and a hypothetical trading record of the those email alerts are updated weekly here.
The latest signals of each model are as follows:
Ultimate market timing model: Buy equities*
Trend Model signal: Bullish*
Trading model: Bullish*
* The performance chart and model readings have been delayed by a week out of respect to our paying subscribers.
Update schedule: I generally update model readings on my site on weekends and tweet mid-week observations at @humblestudent. Subscribers receive real-time alerts of trading model changes, and a hypothetical trading record of the those email alerts is shown here.
Yellow flags galore, but no red flags In the wake of last week's publication (see Why I am not ready to call a market top), I had a number of discussions with investors that amounted to, "What about _________ (insert the worry of the day)".
The main themes discussed, in no particular order, were:
Rising rates and the flattening yield curve;
Oil price spike; and
Fed policy error as they tighten into a decelerating economy.
I conducted an (unscientific) Twitter poll, and respondents were mostly concerned about a Fed policy error, while the oil price spike was the least of their worries.
While I believe that all of these risks are legitimate, they can be characterized as yellow flags, but there are no red flags that signal an imminent recession or equity bear market.