Theta Research is pleased to announce four new additions to our database of tracked models. One of these strategies comes from an Investment Manager new to Theta while three have been developed by Managers who already have active tracking accounts on the Theta database.
Vinay Munikoti, founder and owner of System Research, LLC of White Plains, NY is an existing Theta Manager. Vinay has recently established tracking of two new strategies named “System Research – Hydra” and “System Research – Index Trading.” Theta has tracked and independently verified the actual performance of these models going back to their common inception date of January 1, 2016.
Another existing Theta Investment Manager, David Daughtrey, CFA, CFP, founder of Copperwynd Financial, LLC has added one new model, the Monthly Rotational Strategy. Theta Research has independently verified the actual performance of this strategies back to its inception date of January 1, 2016.
A New Investment Manager Added to the Theta Database:
Our newest Investment Manager addition is Andrew Marshall, Founder of Andrew Marshall Financial, LLC. Based in Carlsbad, CA, Andrew Marshall Financial has established a tracking account for a new strategy named the AMF Tactical Trend 1 strategy. Theta Research has independently documented and verified the track record of this new model back to its inception date of January 1, 2016.
Theta Research is pleased to announce the new and improved version of the Theta subscriber database. Based primarily on requests from our users, the subscriber site has been substantially upgraded to make it easier to rank and analyze the tactical managers found on Theta’s database. Just a few of the enhancements made on Theta’s subscriber site include the following:
Complete Site Face Lift.
– Font sizes have been increased and color schemes standardized, making data
and analytics easier to read;·
Enhanced Report Formats.
– Page layouts are now simple, clean and efficient;
Faster Page Loading.
– Data retrieval and metric calculation speed have been dramatically increased, especially for models with long track records;
Standardized Performance Rankings.
– All rankings are now based on month-end values;
Daily Performance Still Available.
– For those strategies tracked on a daily basis, detailed statistics and analytics are still available on the individual program pages;
Easy to Navigate Model Statistics.
– Tabbed pages make it easier to find performance and risk statistics for all models; and
– Added benchmarks and statistical analytics are available to aid in evaluation and comparison of models.
There are two ways you can check out our website enhancements. If you are a subscriber at either the Professional or Basic levels, converting your subscription to the new version is easy, just follow these steps:
1. Access the Theta home page (www.thetaresearch.com);
2. Click on the “Profile” link at the top of the page;
3. Click on “Edit Profile” on the dropdown menu;
4. Set “Program Version” to “1” and click on the “Update” link; and
5. See the “Profile Updated” confirmation.
From there, just go back to the Theta home page and click on the Subscriber Site to access the updated version of the Theta website.
If you are not currently a Theta subscriber, you must take an alternative route to our updated website by requesting a demonstration of the site’s new capabilities. To access the Demo, go to the Theta Research home page at www.thetaresearch.com and click on the “Pricing” tab at the top of the page. Once there, you will find an explanation of the two different subscription levels available.
After reviewing the subscription information, just click on the “Enter Demo Site“ tab and you’ll be immediately taken to an example of our most current subscriber website.
While the real names of programs and Managers are hidden on the Demo site, you’ll be able to get a feel for the functionality and flow of the new Theta Database. You will also be able to preview the full range of reports, rankings and analytics, which are the same as those found in the actual database subscriptions.
If, after previewing the Demo site, you find that you want to purchase a subscription, just return to the Pricing page on the Theta website, click on the “Purchase Subscription” link and follow the directions to subscribe online using any major credit card. With just a few keystrokes, you can have access to some of the best tactical investment managers in the business, all with actual track records that have been independently verified by Theta Research.
New Manager Joins Theta’s Ranks
Theta Research is pleased to announce the addition of an options-based strategy developed by the man who literally wrote the book on the subject. Lawrence G. (Larry) McMillan, founder and principal of McMillan Asset Management has submitted his Volatility Capture – Futures strategy to be tracked by Theta. While new to Theta Research, Larry is a long-time options investor and wrote a book that many consider to be the “Options Bible.” Theta Research began tracking of this strategy as of its inception date of November 1, 2013.
Why You Should be a Theta Subscriber
We at Theta Research take great satisfaction in building adatabase of investment strategies based on tactical and quantitative models. If you haven’t yet subscribed to Theta’ database of active investment managers, here are ten excellent reasons why you should consider doing so:
1. Access to Investment Managers and Strategies You May Not Find Elsewhere;
2. Our Focus on Active Strategies Means Tactical Models Don’t Get Lost in the Crowd;
3. Early Stage Investment Managers Create Ground-Floor Opportunities;
5. Constantly Growing List of Managers Means a Steady Flow of New Ideas;
6. Third-Party Verified Performance Net of All Fees and Costs;
7. Sophisticated Online Analytics Allow You to Rank and Evaluate Performance;
8. In Some Cases, Ability to Reconstruct Historical Track Records;
9. Performance Updated Monthly, So You Always Have Current Data; and
10. Inexpensive and Easy to Subscribe,
To learn just how reasonable Theta Subscriptions are, see the Pricing tab on the Theta website home page. While there, you can also click on our “Demo” link to try out the features and functionality of the Theta subscription service.
Special Note - If you are a member of NAAIM or the MTA, annual subscription prices go even lower.
Theta Announces Another New Strategy
Existing Manager, John McClure, founder of ProfitScore Capital Management, Inc. has announced the addition of another strategy. The Tactical US Equities model uses multiple quantitative models to trade US Mid- and Large-Cap stocks on a long/short/cash basis. Theta began tracking this new strategy as of its inception date of July 1, 2017.
Déjà Vu All Over Again
The Dow Jones Industrial Average recently crossed 22,000 for the first time ever. This blue-chip index has now more than tripled since a low set in March 2009. The Wall Street Journal recently produced an article explaining five different theories as to why the stock market continues to defy gravity (see below).
As I read the article, I was reminded of the late 1990s when the stock market was on a similar tear. Then, as now, all sorts of theories were given as to why the market could continue producing double digit returns without fear of a correction or bear market. Of course, we all remember how that turned out.
I have reprinted the Wall Street Journal article in its entirety below. If you were around in the late 1990s, you’ll likely remember some of these theories. If you’re new to the markets, they can serve as a warning. After the quoted article, I’ll add a few comments of my own:
WHY DO STOCKS KEEP HITTING RECORDS? HERE ARE 5 THEORIES
Wall Street Jourrnal
By: Akane Otani and Chris Dieterich
(#1) - The biggest U.S. corporations are on stronger footing. With most S&P 500 companies having reported second-quarter results, firms are on track to post another quarter of strong profit growth—building on gains from the end of last year, when companies snapped a five-quarter streak of earnings contraction, according to FactSet. The rebound has been broad, reflected not just among oil firms—which have recovered along with oil prices—but also in tech giants like Apple Inc. and economic bellwethers like Caterpillar Inc. Those who believe the stock market’s trajectory is ultimately determined by the rate of earnings growth say continued strength among U.S. firms should help fuel further gains in the stock market.
(#2) - Economists are projecting a pickup in global growth, while the U.S. expansion remains slow and steady—a combination that investors say has helped boost multinational companies, which have been among the best-performing stocks this year. Boeing Co., Apple and McDonald’s Corp. made up the bulk of the gains that pushed the Dow industrials past 22000 for the first time. Profits at such firms may get an additional boost if weakness in the U.S. dollar persists, because it makes their exports cheaper to foreign buyers. The WSJ Dollar Index, which measures the currency against a basket of 16 others, has fallen 7.5% this year through Wednesday.
(#3) - Investors are currently contending with a rare but favorable environment: an economy that is expanding but not fast enough that the Federal Reserve is in a rush to raise interest rates. The unemployment rate fell to a 16-year low in May, yet inflation has remained stubbornly below the Fed’s 2% target—suggesting to many investors that the central bank is unlikely to raise rates aggressively. Many analysts caution the so-called Goldilocks scenario is unlikely to last. But for now, “in a period where accommodation remains very aggressive, all of this is coming together to keep the markets afloat at these higher levels,” said Tracie McMillion, head of global asset allocation strategy for Wells Fargo Investment Institute.
(#4) - Proliferation of Index Funds: One hallmark of this year’s stock-market rally is the relentless flow of money into index-tracking mutual and exchange-traded funds. Some $128.6 billion has moved into U.S. index-tracking funds that own U.S. stocks in 2017 through June, while a net $99 billion was withdrawn from actively managed U.S. stock funds, according to Morningstar Inc. Buying of passive funds is partially offset by the money flowing out of active ones, but some investors warn that the rising popularity of index funds that own hundreds, sometimes thousands of stocks, translates into indiscriminate buying divorced from corporate fundamentals. One concern is that persistent index buying elevates valuations across the board and that, should market turmoil erupt, investor index buying would turn to selling, leaving the broader market acutely vulnerable.
(#5) - Nowhere Else to Go: In a low-rate environment, one reason investors say the stock market keeps rising is simply that there is no alternative for returns. After an initial selloff following Election Day, U.S. Treasurys are back roughly where they began the year, with the yield on the 10-year note at 2.264% Wednesday, compared with 2.446% at the end of 2016. Many bond investors believe yields are likely to stay relatively low unless there are signs that inflation is picking up or Congress is able to push through potentially growth-boosting policies like fiscal stimulus. For now, with bonds offering paltry yields, many investors begrudgingly say stocks remain their asset class of choice—even if they are getting increasingly nervous about the long stock rally.
While each of the above theories deserves further attention and comment, space does not permit. Instead, I want to concentrate my comments on just two of the theories in an effort to provide an expanded historical perspective.
Specifically, Theory #4 above discusses how stock purchases by passive index funds are creating an indiscriminate demand for stocks “…divorced from corporate fundamentals.” In other words, when investors buy index funds and ETFs just for the sake of having a passive equity exposure in their portfolios, the underlying stocks may respond to that demand by acting more like commodities.
Many investors do not realize that the purchase of passive index mutual funds and ETFs results in the underlying stocks being purchased without regard as to their merit. Also, given that many indexes are capital-weighted, relatively few stocks can drive the index, while also increasing the risks.
When we couple index investing with Theory #5 that low fixed income returns have resulted in investors having no choice but to buy stocks, we get a situation where the demand for stocks increases and takes prices right along with it. If that situation exists, then we may be able to explain stock market movements in terms of commodities, where the forces of supply and demand dictate prices.
The term being tossed around now as it was back in the 1990s is “commoditization” of equities. You can do an Internet search and find many theories both for and against this phenomenon, but the general idea is that demand for stocks may be affecting prices more than the underlying fundamentals.
Theta Research’s owner, Gary D. Halbert, cut his teeth in the industry as a successful commodities hedging specialist. One of his most-used quotes is that when commodities prices melt up too high, they eventually tend to “fall off a cliff” on the way back down. Think what that says about stocks that now seem to be reacting more to the laws of supply and demand than financial fundamentals.
So will stock prices fall off a cliff at the end of the current bull market rally? If you look at what happened during the late 1990s and 2002 to 2007 booms, the answer is probably yes. The only question is when. That being the case, doesn’t it make sense for investors and their advisors to include strategies with the ability to react to market forces rather than being a passive victim of them?
Or, even better, what about strategies that employ techniques often used in the managed futures industry that attempt to take advantage of market volatility? Theta Research offers a database of actual performance posted by investment managers whose strategies include rules-based trading systems that are often found in managed futures accounts. Strategies such as hedging, long/short, traditional market timing, momentum, sector rotation, etc., etc. can be found among Theta’s featured Investment Managers, giving investors an alternative approach to a market that defies conventional wisdom.
Early in my career, I worked for a life insurance company. One of the favorite catch phrases used in that industry is that people don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan. The same could be said today regarding the many passive investors who are sitting ducks for the next bear market or major correction. Doesn’t it make sense to diversify into investments that have the potential to manage the risks of a commoditized equity market rather than being victimized by it?
We think so.