TuringTrader's Mean Kitty

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Key Facts

  • mean-reversion strategy
  • re-balanced daily
  • trades S&P 500 sector ETFs
  • uses bonds as safe instrument

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Summary

Mean Kitty is a proprietary premium strategy by TuringTrader.com, introduced in June 2020.

Mean Kitty aims to provide market-like long-term returns at significantly lower volatility. It does so by trading the mean-reversion of S&P sector ETFs.

The strategy has stringent maintenance requirements and requires adhering to a daily rebalancing schedule. However, rebalancing is straightforward as the strategy only holds a single ETF per day.

Performance

The chart above shows the portfolio’s historical performance and drawdowns, compared to their benchmark, throughout the simulation. The chart below shows the portfolio’s annual returns:

This table shows the performance metrics for TuringTrader's Mean Kitty:

Asset Allocation

The portfolio last required rebalancing after the exchange's close on n/a. The current asset allocation is as follows:

- Delayed Data -

Review

Strategy Rules

The operation of Mean Kitty can be summarized as follows:

  • trade S&P 500 and sector ETFs
  • entry
    • disqualify ETFs trading below their 200-day moving average or with negative momentum
    • select ETF with highest Sharpe Ratio
    • open position when RSI indicates oversold conditions
    • position size inverse to historical volatility
    • remaining capital held in cash
  • exit when
    • RSI indicates neutral to overbought conditions
    • hitting the stop-loss price
    • the position is held excessively long
  • hold an aggregate bond market ETF, while not holding a position in the stock market

Like other mean-reversion strategies, Mean Kitty buys into pullbacks, aiming to profit from prices reverting to their mean within a few short days. This approach is similar to catching a falling knife and bears a substantial risk. The strategy addresses this in multiple ways. For once, preference is given to sectors with higher momentum and lower volatility. Further, positions are scaled back with increasing volatility.

Diversification

Mean Kitty is well diversified in terms of individual titles, as it trades broad stock market ETFs. However, as the strategy only invests in a single ETF at a time, it is not diversified across asset classes.

Because the strategy is only invested in the stock markets for short periods at a time, Mean Kitty has a very low beta. Nonetheless, the strategy's tail risk is similar to holding the S&P 500.

Returns & Volatility

Mean Kitty trails its benchmark about half of the time. However, it often outperforms in sideways and bearish markets. Since the 2008 recession, Mean Kitty has beaten the S&P 500 by a wide margin and at less than half the volatility. At the same time, the strategy's returns have been smooth and steady, with a Martin Ratio higher than 5.

Account & Tax Considerations

Mean Kitty trades frequently and regularly triggers taxable events. As with all mean-reversion strategies, positions are only held for short periods and never for 12 months or longer. Consequently, investors should expect all capital gains to be taxable at the short-term rate unless applying the strategy to a tax-deferred account.

Mean Kitty only holds a single ETF at any moment in time. This results in meager capital requirements; the strategy should work as intended with accounts of $1,000 or more.