S&P 500 Momentum and Economic Outlook

This an example of the monthly updates from the new Research & Investment joint venture between Incredible Charts and Porter Capital.

S&P 500 Momentum – October 2013

Latest Performance

S&P 500 Momentum is based on Porter Capital’s successful ASX200 Prime Momentum strategy which returned +38.43% for the 12 months ended 31st October 2013. Actual historical performance for the S&P 500 is not yet available.


The portfolio includes the usual technology, Internet retail and biotechnology sectors but also insurance, airlines, and oil & gas exploration.

Stock Performance

Star performer Netflix (NFLX) climbed from $80 to above $350 over the last year, breaking its 2011 high of $300. Twiggs Money Flow troughs above zero indicate strong buying pressure.


Stock Selections


We continue to hold the following stocks:

  • Symbol only available to subscribers
  • NFLX
  • Symbol only available to subscribers
  • Symbol only available to subscribers
  • Symbol only available to subscribers
  • Symbol only available to subscribers

New Additions

There are four new additions this month:

  • Symbol only available to subscribers
  • GILD
  • Symbol only available to subscribers
  • Symbol only available to subscribers

Biotech newcomer Gilead Sciences (GILD) climbed from $20 to above $70 over the last three years. Short corrections indicate buying pressure and respect of support at $64 would signal a fresh advance. Twiggs Money Flow troughs high above zero also suggest strong buying pressure.



Stocks replaced are:

  • BSX (SELL)
  • GT (SELL)

Regneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN) rose from $30 to $300 over the last three years, but encountered strong resistance at $300/$320 and has fallen outside our top ten ranking. Breach of support at $270 and the rising trendline would warn that the primary trend is weakening. Recovery above $320, however, would most likely see it regain its position in the portfolio.


Market Outlook

Market Filters

Our market filters indicate low to moderate risk and we maintain full exposure to equities.

General Outlook

As global growth recovers we expect equity markets to be buoyed by improvements in both earnings and dividends, with strong momentum over the quarter. There is much discussion in the media as to whether various markets are in a “bubble”. Little attention is devoted to the fact that bubbles can last for several years, and sometimes even decades. The main driver of both stock market bubbles and real estate bubbles is debt. Anna Schwartz, co-author with Milton Friedman of A Monetary History of the United States (1963) described the relationship to the Wall Street Journal:

If you investigate individually the manias that the market has so dubbed over the years, in every case, it was expansive monetary policy that generated the boom in an asset. The particular asset varied from one boom to another. But the basic underlying propagator was too-easy monetary policy and too-low interest rates …..

Currently, there is evidence of expansive monetary policy from the Fed, but the overall impact on the financial markets is muted. Most of the QE bond purchases are being parked by banks in interest-bearing, excess reserve deposits at the Fed. The chart below compares Fed balance sheet expansion (QE) to the increase in excess reserve deposits at the Fed.

US Household Debt

A classic placebo effect, the Fed is well aware that the major benefit of their quantitative easing program is psychological: there is little monetary impact on the markets.

Corporate debt (green line below) is expanding rapidly as corporations take advantage of the opportunity to issue new debt at low interest rates, but household debt (red) is still shrinking.

US Household Debt

There are pockets of concern, like the rapid recovery in NYSE margin debt, but risk of a Dotcom-style stock market bubble or a 2002/2007 housing bubble is low while household debt contracts.


Colin Twiggs


Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.

~ Aristotle


Research & Investment Pty Ltd is a Corporate Authorized Representative (AR Number 384 397) of Andika Pty Ltd which holds an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL 297069).

The information on this web site and in the newsletters is general in nature and does not consider your personal circumstances. Please contact your professional financial adviser for advice tailored to your needs.

Research & Investment Pty Ltd (“R&I”) has made every effort to ensure the reliability of the views and recommendations expressed in the reports published on its websites and newsletters. Our research is based upon information known to us or which was obtained from sources which we believe to be reliable and accurate.

No guarantee as to the capital value of investments, nor future returns are made by R&I. Neither R&I nor its employees make any representation, warranty or guarantee that the information provided is complete, accurate, current or reliable.

You are under no obligation to use these services and should always compare financial services/products to find one which best meets your personal objectives, financial situation or needs.

To the extent permitted by law, R&I and its employees, agents and authorized representatives exclude all liability for any loss or damage (including indirect, special or consequential loss or damage) arising from the use of, or reliance on, any information. If the law prohibits the exclusion of such liability, such liability shall be limited, to the extent permitted by law, to the resupply of the said information or the cost of the said resupply.

Important Warning About Simulated Results

Research & Investment (R&I) specialize in developing, testing and researching investment strategies and systems. Within the R&I web site and newsletters, you will find information about investment strategies and their performance. It is important that you understand that results from R&I research are simulated and not actual results.

No representation is made that any investor will or is likely to achieve profits or losses similar to those shown.

Simulated performance results are generally prepared with the benefit of hindsight and do not involve financial risk. No modelling can completely account for the impact of financial risk in actual investment. Account size, brokerage and slippage may also diverge from simulated results. Numerous other factors related to the markets in general or to the implementation of any specific investment system cannot be fully accounted for in the preparation of simulated performance results and may adversely affect actual investment results.

To the extent permitted by law, R&I and its employees, agents and authorized representatives exclude all liability for any loss or damage (including indirect, special or consequential loss or damage) arising from the use of, or reliance on, any information offered by R&I whether or not caused by any negligent act or omission.

The DNA of a diversified portfolio – Managed Funds – Futures Magazine

Before starting, we must define an end goal. Commonly, the initial, singular objective is to maximize performance. This answer is legitimate but raises additional questions.

The first question involves consistency of performance. Certain strategies such as trend-following have desirable risk properties but are intermittent in their returns, while strategies such as option selling may tend to produce consistent returns over most periods but occasionally experience large, sudden draw-downs. Optimizing for performance typically implies that you are optimizing for the average performance over the sample period, but this metric doesn’t account for the year-to-year variability around the average. The importance of consistency depends largely on the time horizons of both the portfolio designer and the investors. Shorter time horizons demand greater consistency of returns.

Another question is that of style, or desired correlation to a benchmark. Alternatively, you may wish to minimize correlation specifically to a particular benchmark. Many portfolio designers seek to replicate the style of trend-followers, yet also improve on the risk-adjusted performance, i.e., they seek “alpha” as well as “beta” (see “Manager lingo,” below). Other portfolios have become popular. For example, an index comprising short-term traders has been developed to reflect a uncorrelated return stream to standard trend-following benchmarks.

Additional and often overlooked objectives include optimizing for various return statistics, including skewness, kurtosis and draw-down measures. Such objectives can be difficult to incorporate into the optimization process accurately. For instance, even though many believe that draw-downs can be bounded a priori and that risk-management methodologies can be separated from the trading program itself, two primary determinants of draw-down magnitude are program style and time. Longer-lived programs generally will have experienced larger peak-to-valley draw-downs, reinforcing the adage: “Your worst draw-down is always ahead of you.” Hence, optimizing for maximum draw-down is an exercise in futility….

via The DNA of a diversified portfolio – Managed Funds – Futures Magazine.