One of the simplest trading strategies market timing investors can employ uses the trading signal defined by a moving average crossover, which is exactly what the Stock Trends indicators are based on. But there are often many stocks with a Bullish Crossover (also known as a 'Golden Cross') in a given week - how do we decide which ones to trade?
Most technical traders use moving averages in conjunction with other technical indicators. Key factors to look for include both price momentum and volume support, both represented by Stock Trends other indicators. An elevated Relative Strength Indicator (RSI) and a high volume indicator provide a rudimentary basis to filter the Bullish Crossovers and isolate potential breakout stocks in a newly bullish trend.
Using the same trading strategy, the model portfolio results for the Nasdaq Stock Exchange deserve some attention. The Stock Trends NASDAQ Portfolio #1 trading strategy, defined below, struggled in volatile market environments but has averaged 8% annual returns over the 28.7 year period May 1990 to December 31, 2018!
The trading results of the Stock Trends NASDAQ Portfolio #1 compared to the benchmark S&P 500 Index:
|ST Nasdaq Portfolio #1 Strategy Performance - 1991 to 2018:
May/1990 to Dec 31/2018
* ST portfolio annual returns are based on average invested capital for the year.
You can review a history of ALL completed positions (i.e. a position is 'completed' when it it is bought and sold): Trading History
How can you too follow the Stock Trends NASDAQ Portfolio #1?... simply subscribe to Stock Trends Weekly Reporter for $19.95/mo (or choose one of our money-saving annual subscription plans). Each week we run our proprietary Stock Trends Portfolio Buy filter to find new acquisitions for this and other portfolios, and review the current portfolio holdings for our Sell signals - all published in weekly Portfolio reports made available to subscribers.
STOCK TRENDS NASDAQ PORTFOLIO #1 TRADING STRATEGY
The trading criteria defined for the Stock Trends NASDAQ Portfolio #1 are as follows:
BUY a stock when:
The Stock Trends Weekly Reporter - NASDAQ Crossovers report lists all stocks with moving average crossovers on the week and can be used to quickly spot stocks that meet the trading criteria. The Stock Trends Weekly Reporter - Stock Trends NYSE Portfolio #1 report shows current week trading activity and holdings in the portfolio. This system was designed to identify stocks that are showing signs of breaking out into a new bullish long-term trend. Heavy volume on the crossover week, while perhaps coincidental in its correlation, confirms the strength of the current price movement. Limiting yourself to stocks trading over 100,000 shares a week helps to ensure liquidity: you should be able to sell when you need to.
NASDAQ Portfolio #1 are as follows: Exposure on each position is limited to $10,000. Although there are no limits as to the number of positions the model portfolio holds, investors will be constrained by their own capital resources. This is a trader's system: it operates on an assumption of action. If a signal is given to buy, the stock is bought. If the sell criteria are met, it is sold. There are no constraints on available capital, and no rules about minimum levels of equity holding.
Note that transaction costs are factored into the cost of purchases and the net proceeds of sales at 1% in and 1% out, or 2% commission on a round trip.
SELL criteria are as follows:
[Note: Sell Trigger #1, a Bearish Crossover, is not employed in this system].
All of these sell triggers demand that holdings in the portfolio maintain a positive trend. Most positions in this NASDAQ strategy (76%) are closed out by the stop loss provision - higher than the same strategies on the NYSE and TSX. High volatility has resulted in many trades closing at a loss and diminised the Profit Factor as detailed below. Trigger #5 accounts for 17% of the closed positions, with Trigger #3 accounting for only 2%, and 2% from Trigger #4. Another 2% of positions were closed because the stock was bought out or delisted.
Stock picking based on this system, investors should remember, is entirely technical and mechanical. It is not based on any knowledge of the companies or evaluation of "investment worthiness". These trades would be entered on a speculative strategy that would be very much similar to any gambling strategy. Here the success of the trading system depends on the dependability of the data and the probability of long-term returns playing favorably in the investor's hand.
NASDAQ Portfolio #1 Trading History report shows, this strategy has been active and relatively successful. Over the 1,493 weeks from Nov. 11, 1990, to December 31, 2018, 1,806 positions were taken. The report reveals that 643 positions were winners and 1,163 were losers. The average number of positions held at any one time is 8, with each position held for an average of 6 weeks. The average investment at any one time was $74,040 ( this summary information is incorporated into the Stock Trends Portfolio report published in Stock Trends Weekly Reporter). The total gain for the portfolio at December 31, 2017 was $149,948, for an average gain per winning position of $2,478 and an average loss per losing position of $1,220. The average return per position - winners and losers - is 1%. That translates into a 8.2% annualized return on average investment for the 28-year period. These results compare to the 7.5% annualized compound return of the S&P 500 Index (not including dividends) over the same period.
The success of this trading system - and every trading system - really comes down to two things: maximizing profits and limiting losses. A trader cannot be right about every trade. Expecting a winning percentage in the upper quartile is simply unrealistic. Indeed many successful traders are, in fact, wrong more than they are right. A trade winning percentage below 50% does not mean the trading system is a failure.
NASDAQ Portfolio #1 has a winning percentage (the number of trades that provided positive returns as a percentage of the total number of trades) of 36%. What makes the system successful is the ratio of the average gains on positive return trades to the average losses on negative return trades. One way to represent this relationship and measure the profitability of a trading system is the Profit Factor:
Profit Factor = (% of winning trades X average $ gains on winning trades) / ABSOLUTE VALUE[(% of losing trades X average $ losses on losing trades)]
NASDAQ Portfolio #1:
Profit Factor = (.36 X $2478) / ABS[(.64X $-1220)] = $892.08/ $780.80 = 1.1
NASDAQ Portfolio #1 trading history reveals that the highest return on a single trade was 499%, while the biggest loss recorded was 80%. The graph below shows the distribution of returns for all 1,806 positions (as at December 31, 2018).
NASDAQ Portfolio #1 Distribution of Returns