As 2013 comes to a close, it has been helpful for me to spend some time reflecting on the progress I have made over the past year. Between the real job, the side job, the kitchen renovation, the trading, the trading blog, the podcast, and the family, I don’t often find myself taking time to put things into perspective.
2013 was a definitive year for me in a lot of areas. With regard to my trading, I realized early in the year that I wanted to focus on some type of mechanical trend following strategy that would take all of the discretionary aspects of trading out of my hands. Then, as I entertained different systematic options, I realized that I wanted something that would require a minimal time investment.
As the year is ending, I believe that I have put together two different strategies that really meet my needs as a trader. Both the Weekend Trend Following Strategies and the Ivy Portfolios are well suited to my personality as a trader. I am very excited to see how they evolve with me in the coming year.
Weekend IBD Trend Following Strategy
The IBD Trend Following Strategy logged another good week this week. After closing out last week right around even, the overall return climbed up over 2% this week before settling back down to 1.53%. As you can see below, there are no significant losers in the portfolio, and two different positions have profits of more than 28%. This reinforces the idea that this strategy is doing exactly what it is supposed to do by cutting the losing trades and holding onto the winners.
Obviously, the strategy is benefiting by being in growth-oriented stocks during what appears to be another Santa Claus Rally. But that isn’t a bad thing. That is exactly what a trend following strategy is supposed to do. Capture trends. As the markets have moved up at the end of the year, I’ve been in a position of profit. Moving forward, if the markets continue higher, the strategy will stay invested. If things get choppy, the strategy will begin to ease itself out of positions.
Because everything was positive this week, there were no transactions to report. Here is what the IBD Trend Following Strategy looks like this weekend:
Weekend S&P Trend Following Strategy
The Weekend S&P Trend Following Strategy had a positive week as well. It was down over 3% overall last weekend, and has improved to being down 2.72% this weekend. As I have said before, the stocks in the S&P 400 Midcap and the S&P 500 are going to be less growth-oriented than the stocks in the IBD 50 universe. That means that this portfolio will probably produce lower, but less volatile returns than the Weekend IBD Trend Following Strategy.
The S&P Strategy added two positions on Monday morning of this week. The ACXM position, which I was more fond of, had a tough week and is now down over 4%. The LSI position, which I was afraid of, logged a small profit for the week. This just goes to show why I need a mechanical strategy. I am terrible at picking stocks.
Here is what the S&P Trend Following Strategy looks like this weekend:
Ivy Ten Portfolio
Since the Ivy Ten Portfolio is fully invested in US Stocks right now, we could expect its performance to mirror the Weekend Trend Following Strategies this week. That is exactly what happened. The Ivy Ten Portfolio went from being down about half a percent last weekend to up about half a percent this weekend. All three of its holdings have moved into positive territory for the month.
With the New Year’s holiday coming up this week, we will be performing our monthly calculations to determine any adjustments that will be made to the portfolio for January. I considered running the numbers this weekend to get an idea of any changes that might be coming, but the idea of the Ivy Portfolios is to ONLY work on them once a month, so I’ll want until Tuesday night to figure out any changes.
Here is what the Ivy Ten Portfolio looks like this weekend:
Ivy Twenty Portfolio
Just like the other three strategies, the Ivy Twenty Portfolio logged a slight gain this week. After finishing last week up 0.44%, the overall return climbed to 0.85% this weekend. Each of the three ETFs are currently in positive territory. IWC notched a big gain this week, while VB moved up slightly and VO fell back a bit.
I will run the numbers Tuesday night to determine if any changes need to be made, but this is how the Ivy Twenty Portfolio looks this weekend: