This simple algorithm monitors 100-day trailing momentum of High Yield Bonds (HYG) and US Treasuries (IEF). 100% of portfolio equity is then allocated to the top performing asset on the first day of every quarter. The result is higher risk-adjusted performance since HYG's inception in 2007. Further backtest of this strategy using Vanguard mutual funds here indicates consistent performance going back to as far as 1988. Most noticeable was the strategy's performance during the 2008 crisis when junk bonds crashed along with the stock market.
Due to a potential rising interest rates environment in the near future, using US Treasuries as the "hideout" asset when High Yield Bonds lose momentum might not produce performance results that are comparable to the past 3 decades. However, the system's robustness still appears to be staying intact during the recent dive in US Treasuries as yields took off to levels not seen since 3 years ago.
STRATEGY HIGHLIGHTS (Jan 1988- Nov 2016, based on monthly returns)
Annualized Return: 8.3%
Volatility/Std. Deviation: 4.4%
Beta to S&P 500: 0.35
Max Drawdown: -7%
Best Year: +20.6%
Worst Year: -4.3%