Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Dow Theory Update for November 20: Why aren’t out there any Dow Theory based hedge funds?

 I don’t like stock’s action as per the “Classical Dow Theory”

Breakout systems, moving averages and the Dow Theory:

Hamilton wrote that the Dow Theory could also be applied to any asset traded in an organized (and free) market. This is why when I started this blog some 7 years ago, I decided to appraise the trends of precious metals and their ETFs as per the tenets of the Dow Theory. I hope to publish soon the comparison between buy and hold and the Dow Theory for precious metals over the last 7 years which is a reasonable period. From eyeballing the charts I see that the Dow Theory is likely to be the winner versus buy and hold.

Furthermore, I am planning to toy with several pairs of ETFs (i.e. big cap ETF with small cap; value/growth, etc.). Some days ago, I took USO (crude oil ETF) and XLE (Energy Select Sector), and applied the classical Dow Theory (I cannot use Schannep’s as I only had two indices) to that pair. I was astonished at the results. Outperformance of ca. 1.5% p.a. and a huge, really huge, drawdown reduction versus buy and hold. Hence risk-adjusted performance much better. I hope to pen a post as soon as I have time. It is pity that I have some many occupations and so little free time available, as the more I know the Dow Theory, the more I unearth its net superiority over all trend following methods. I know firsthand of trend following futures funds (mostly based on breakout systems) that are having a very tough time with deep (ouch!) and long (double ouch!, as time decimates one’s psychological makeup more than depth) drawdowns.

In spite of all the praise bestowed upon breakout systems, it is my contention that it is a very inefficient way to follow the trend. Of course, a rising tide lifts all boats, and when there are clean (please mind the word “clean”) trends (as those seen, i.e. in the 70’s and part of the 80’s) people tend to get fascinated with such primitive ways of trend following. However, we should know that markets are not always “clean” and obliging to brute force trend following. Markets can be range-bound or even trend full of noise (reversals which results in whipsaws) and they can stay in that noisy state longer than you can stay solvent. I wonder why nobody in the investment trend following community has ever attempted to launch a Dow Theory based fund. This is why, little by little, I plan to explore how it would have performed the Dow Theory when applied to many asset classes. I plan to compare it to breakout systems and moving averages (we already tentatively know that the Dow Theory beats the pants off them, as explained here and here)


The primary and secondary trend turned bullish on October 25th, 2019, as was explained here and here

If we appraise the trend under the “Rhea/classical” Dow Theory, the primary trend is bullish since April 1st, 2019, as was explained here

The secondary trend is bearish, as there is an ongoing secondary reaction against the primary bull market. The orange rectangles display the secondary reaction. On 06/20/2019 the Industrials bettered their secondary reaction closing highs unconfirmed by the Transports. On 08/27/2019 the Transports violated their secondary reaction closing low unconfirmed by the Industrials, and, hence, no primary bear market was signaled.

The Industrials has continued making higher highs and the Transports have been badly lagging behind unable to break up above their secondary reaction closing highs. The longer it takes for confirmation to occur, the more suspect the primary trend becomes. We should not forget that the failure to jointly better the secondary reaction highs entails that we cannot declare the secondary reaction as extinguished, and hence the secondary trend remains bearish.

Here you have an updated chart:

However, we live and die by the actual signals. Reality is that as per Schannep’s and the “classical” Dow Theory the primary trend is bullish. There are some clouds on the horizon but clouds are not signals to be acted upon them.


The primary trend and secondary trend is bearish as was profusely explained here

I also explained that I’m doubtful as to whether this particular primary bear market will have long legs, as the trend, when appraised using weekly bar (longer time frame) is bullish. The resistance of the gold and silver miners ETFs to signal a primary bear market seems to confirm my qualms.


The primary trend is bullish since 12/18/2018 as explained here. No changes. 

On 09/04/2019 SIL and GDX made its last recorded primary bull market closing highs. From that date both ETFs declined and the secondary trend turned bearish  (secondary reaction against the primary bull market) as explained in-depth here.

On 10/25/2019 the setup for a primary bear market has been completed as explained here

The Dow Theorist

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