Gauss is the portfolio up for review this morning. I think of this portfolio as one of the Relative Strength or Tranche Momentum portfolios. The other two main models followed here at ITA are: Dual Momentum and Asset Allocation. These models do not include those managed by Hedgehunter. If looking for a portfolio of stocks, search for the *Dirac portfolio*.

The Gauss is constructed using both principles of Asset Allocation and Factor ETFs. Obviously, there is overlap between the two. Two main examples are Size and Value. Two ETFs that fit these overlaps are VOE and VBR.

**Gauss Investment Quiver**

Below is the investment quiver for the Gauss. Equities dominate as we are in a bull market. The Gauss holds no treasuries or bonds at this time.

**Gauss BHS Recommendations**

Using the Buy-Hold-Sell (BHS) model and a maximum of five assets, we see four Buy and one Hold recommendation. The two Hold? recommendations for VB and VEA require special attention. Some investors will sell these holdings out of the portfolio. To reduce portfolio churning, I’ve adopted the following strategy. Instead of selling immediately, set TSLOs at 1/2 x recommended percentage. More on this below.

**Gauss Manual Risk Adjustments**

There is only one outright Sell and that is to cull VWO from the portfolio. After the market opens this morning I plan to sell 10 shares of VWO and use all available cash to purchase 145 shares of VNQ and 20 shares of QUAL. QUAL is one of the Factor ETFs included in the investment quiver as it fits the Quality factor.

Since VNQ ranks higher than QUAL, I fill VNQ to its recommended value first.

There is somewhat of an oddity this morning as VO ranks #1, but only has a Score of 6. If the Gauss already held shares, VO would show up as a Hold, not a Sell.

Setting TSLOs: After all purchases are made, check the TSLO settings.

- Set TSLO to Sell 105 shares of VTI. The TSLO is set to 3/4 x 8.0% or 6.0%.
- TSLOs for VNQ, VOE, VBR and QUAL are set at the percentage indicated in the Stop Loss column.
- TSLOs for VB and VEA are set at 1/2 x Stop Loss percentage. For VB that is 1/2 x 10.3% or 5.0% if rounding down. Some brokers will not handle fractional percentages. Schwab does handle fractions.

**Gauss Performance Data**

The following data runs from 4/30/2019 through 4/12/2021. Since the youngest ITA portfolio began on 4/30/2019, I will gradually migrate to that starting date for all portfolios. At least it includes the Covid-19 Crash period.

With an Internal Rate of Return (IRR) of 11.8%, the Gauss comes close to matching the VTHRX benchmark.

**Gauss Risk Ratios**

The April data includes information from 4/30/2019 through 4/12/2021. The dip in the Jensen indicates the Gauss did not keep up with the benchmark these first two weeks of April. First quarter dividends may be a partial reason as the dividends add value at the end of the March, but then the price of the ETF diminishes in April to offset the dividend. Regardless, over the long run this all comes out in the wash.

The trend line for Jensen’s Alpha is essentially flat, but at least it is positive. The rise in the Sortino and Omega ratios indicate the value of the Gauss is increasing.

If looking for the latest Kipling spreadsheet, click on the first link below.

Relative Portfolio Performance: 8 April 2021

Comments and questions are welcome. At the bottom of each blog post is a section for readers to add comments. If this is your first comment, I need to approve so it may take a little time. Be patient.

Stellaluna says

Lowell,

Can you venture a guess as to why both VO and VTI have Scores of only 6, even though they have BSH Ranks of 1 and 2, respectively. For VO, the two HAs are both positive, P-C is positive, and it ranks number 3 in Rank (column D). Given that momentum (column D) has a weight of 40%, these Scores seems strange.

~jim

Lowell Herr says

Jim,

I’ve been puzzling over this one myself. I’ll defer to Hedgehunter for an answer as he knows the coding behind the values.

Lowell

HedgeHunter says

Jim/Lowell,

When Score=6 we are 4 points short of the maximum 10 and, when BLSH is set to “Yes”, this comes from the slope of the Projection curve (that depends, in turn on the BLSH lookback period). [If BLSH is set to “No” the 4 points come from the sign of P-C – so VO and VTI would show scores of 10 in Lowell’s example]. Momentum (column D) only contributes 1 point to Score – the other 5 points come from the HA values.

The slope of the Projection curve can be seen by checking the LRPC_Chart and can be a very fast/early indication of reversals (depending on the length of the lookback period chosen).

Hope this explains the subtle differences in the models and choice of parameters.

David

Stellaluna says

David,

Thanks for the reply. I forgot to look at the Projection Slope in the LRPC_Chart sheet when I posed the question to Lowell. I should have known better. I believe it was below 0 when Lowell conducted his review because today it is barely above 0, so that the Score is now a 10 with my settings – now a BUY rather than a Hold.

~jim

Stellaluna says

Oops. Now a BUY rather than a SELL as shown in Lowell’s table. ~jim

HedgeHunter says

Timing/Review-Date Luck 🙂 – the slope can get a little whippy, especially with short look-backs.