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The BLUE LINE INVESTING® PRIMARY TREND Update: January 2020

“The only thing that is constant is change”

 – Heraclitus

The US stock market, as measured by the S&P 500 Index (S&P), finished the month of January 6.2% above the Blue Line, compared to 8.40% at the end of December. As such, we view the current primary trend as a rising trend.

 

BLUE LINE PERSPECTIVE

Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com

 

However, last month I expressed my concern that the 4th quarter 2019 rally appeared very “steep.” Unless the S&P is about to break out and rise much higher, this “steepness” may be warning of a temporary price “top.” IF that proves true, there are only two other directions the stock market can go: sideways or down. In the chart above I have added downward sloping arrows to highlight possible price targets if the stock market continues to decline over the coming weeks or months.

Something else worth taking notice of is the divergence that took place on January 22nd. The S&P and the NASDAQ made new price highs, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average did not.  The reason this may be important, at least in the shorter-term, is the last time I recall this happening was at the price bottom in January 2016. During that month, the S&P and the NASDAQ made new price lows, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average did not. Therefore, if a price rally does not materialize relatively soon, the market may retrace some of the price advance from last year.

 

PRIMARY TREND PERSPECTIVE                  

 

To better align this monthly update with both our process and my book scheduled to be published this summer, I will use the following chart going forward to illustrate and monitor the primary trend as we view it.

Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com

 

The two rising dashed green lines represent the primary trend. In the past few years, each time price rose to the top line labeled “Trend Channel Resistance,” shortly thereafter it experienced a price correction. As of today, price is turning down once again from that green line where the red down arrow has been circled. Will it drop all the way back to the bottom of the channel, or even break down through it? Stay tuned to find out over the coming months.

Thank you for reading the BLUE LINE INVESTING® PRIMARY TREND update, and please do not hesitate to call (833) 258-2583 with questions or if we may be of service.

Jeff Link

 

Disclaimers:

BLUE LINE INVESTING® (BLI) is an actively managed investment process that pursues our mission by combining a trend following investment philosophy and a “buy low, sell high” investment strategy. Our mission is to grow our client’s financial wealth over a full market cycle in a risk-managed and tax-efficient way.

We monitor the relationship between price and the Blue Line over time to help identify which stock markets worldwide are experiencing rising, sideways, and declining primary trends. We prefer to invest in those markets experiencing rising or sideways primary trends, while avoiding those markets experiencing declining primary trends. The Blue Line helps us identify these trends, and when changes may be taking place.

The S&P 500 Index is one of the most commonly followed equity indices, and many consider it one of the best representations of the U.S. stock market, and a bellwether for the U.S. economy. It is comprised of 500 large companies having common stock listed on the NYSE or NASDAQ. The volatility (beta) of the account may be greater or less than the index. It is not possible to invest directly in this index.

Technical analysis is a method of evaluating securities by analyzing statistics generated by market activity, such as past prices and volumes. Technical analysis attempts to predict a future stock price or direction based on market trends. The assumption is that the market follows discernible patterns and if these patterns can be identified then a prediction can be made. The risk is that markets may not always follow patterns. There are certain limitations to technical analysis research, such as the calculation results being impacted by changes in security price during periods of market volatility. Technical analysis is one of many indicators that may be used to analyze market data for investing purposes and should not be considered a guaranteed prediction of market activity. The opinions expressed are those of BLI. The opinions referenced are as of the date of publication and are subject to change without notice. BLI reserves the right to modify its current investment strategies based on changing market dynamics or client needs.

Past performance is not indicative of future results. This material is not financial advice or an offer to sell any product. The information contained herein should not be considered a recommendation to purchase or sell any particular security. Forward looking statements cannot be guaranteed.

Advisory services offered through Aptus Capital Advisors, LLC, a Registered Investment Adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Registration does not imply a certain level or skill or training. More information about the advisor, its investment strategies and objectives, is included in the firm’s Form ADV Part 2, which can be obtained, at no charge, by calling (251) 517-7198. Aptus Capital Advisors, LLC is headquartered in Fairhope, Alabama.

ACA-20-22

The BLUE LINE INVESTING® PRIMARY TREND Update: September 2019

“The only thing that is constant is change”
– Heraclitus

The US stock market, as measured by the S&P 500 Index (S&P, see the chart below), finished the month of September +3.60% above the BLUE LINE, up from +2.70% above the BLUE LINE at the end of August. We continue to categorize the primary trend as Neutral primarily due to price behavior remaining within what we believe to be a sideways trend.

 

Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com

As a quick reminder to our readers, we monitor the relationship between price and the BLUE LINE over time to help identify which stock markets worldwide are experiencing rising primary trends, sideways primary trends, and declining primary trends. We prefer to invest in those markets experiencing rising or sideways primary trends, while avoiding those markets experiencing declining primary trends. The BLUE LINE helps us identify these trends – and when changes may be taking place between them.

 

SPECIAL UPDATE: THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE

The weekly* charts below are being presented to illustrate two potential short-term trends we are currently monitoring within the sideways trend in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. As always, we suggest you click here to familiarize yourself with last month’s comments before reading further.

 

The potentially unfavorable short-term trend

Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com

 

As can be seen above in the upper right-hand corner, price is once again at the top of what we believe to be a sideways trend (identified by the sideways, dashed gray lines). However, almost every weekly price rise since early August has stopped underneath the rising red dashed line. IF this price formation is in fact what is called an Ascending Wedge, we do not believe you should be surprised if the stock market experiences a price correction over the coming weeks. We alluded to this possibility in a previous post, and that potential still exists.

If prices do correct, we do not believe it will result in a change in trend. We continue to believe the sideways trend is currently dominant, and therefore expect price to continue to remain rangebound between 27,000 on the top and approximately 24,000 on the bottom, identified by the gray-dashed lines.

 

The potentially favorable short-term trend

Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com

Alternatively, the chart above shows the possibility of a new rising trend within the sideways trend, identified by the rising green dashed lines. IF prices correct soon and do not decline below the 25,500-price level, it could lend support to this possibility. But even if they do correct below the 25,500-price level, it is still possible for price to decline to as low as the 24,000-price level without the primary sideways trend changing.

With that said, price is currently above the BLUE LINE, which we believe is positive. But that could change in the short-term, and if it does, we suggest you continue to ignore the media narrative and stay focused on the primary trend. We believe it will eventually change to a rising – or declining – trend. Until that time, we patiently wait for the market to provide further hints as to which one it may be.

Thank you for reading the BLUE LINE INVESTING® PRIMARY TREND update, and please do not hesitate to call us at (833) 258-2583 with questions or if we may be of service.

Jeff Link

 

Disclaimers:

 * Each vertical line on the chart represents one week of price change.

BLUE LINE INVESTING® (BLI) is an investment process that seeks to align investment decisions with the prevailing primary trend of the financial markets. BLI seeks to remain fully invested when the financial markets are experiencing either a long-term rising primary trend or a short-to-intermediate sideways trend. When the primary trend begins declining however, the process follows a 3-phase sell process to attempt to limit downside loss. We believe Warren Buffett said it best with his two rules: “Rule No. 1 – Never lose money. Rule No. 2 – Never forget Rule No. 1.”

The S&P 500 Index is one of the most commonly followed equity indices, and many consider it one of the best representations of the U.S. stock market, and a bellwether for the U.S. economy. It is comprised of 500 large companies having common stock listed on the NYSE or NASDAQ. The volatility (beta) of the account may be greater or less than the index. It is not possible to invest directly in this index.

Technical analysis is a method of evaluating securities by analyzing statistics generated by market activity, such as past prices and volumes. Technical analysis attempts to predict a future stock price or direction based on market trends. The assumption is that the market follows discernible patterns and if these patterns can be identified then a prediction can be made. The risk is that markets may not always follow patterns. There are certain limitations to technical analysis research, such as the calculation results being impacted by changes in security price during periods of market volatility. Technical analysis is one of many indicators that may be used to analyze market data for investing purposes and should not be considered a guaranteed prediction of market activity. The opinions expressed are those of BLI. The opinions referenced are as of the date of publication and are subject to change without notice. BLI reserves the right to modify its current investment strategies based on changing market dynamics or client needs.

Past performance is not indicative of future results. This material is not financial advice or an offer to sell any product. The information contained herein should not be considered a recommendation to purchase or sell any particular security. Forward looking statements cannot be guaranteed.

Advisory services offered through Aptus Capital Advisors, LLC, a Registered Investment Adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Registration does not imply a certain level or skill or training. More information about the advisor, its investment strategies and objectives, is included in the firm’s Form ADV Part 2, which can be obtained, at no charge, by calling (251) 517-7198. Aptus Capital Advisors, LLC is headquartered in Fairhope, Alabama.

The BLUE LINE INVESTING® Primary Trend Update

 

Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com

Commentary:

The US stock market, as measured by the S&P 500 Index (S&P) finished the month of January at the BLUE LINE, as compared to -7.7% below the BLUE LINE at the end of December. With all of the price behavior over the past four months occurring below the BLUE LINE, we continue to advise caution. Therefore, we continue to categorize the primary trend as Neutral.

THE TECHNICAL PERSPECTIVE

Sometimes it can help to step back and look at the big picture. The chart below is a weekly version of the S&P over the past three years. Each vertical line on the chart represents one week worth of price behavior.

Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com

What we observe from this chart, from a technical analysis perspective only, is that it appears the S&P is within one of two trends. IF price fails to rise materially higher after today, and turns down instead, the negative trend may be the primary trend and is highlighted by the dashed red lines. If so, we should expect lower prices in the coming weeks or months.

If, however, price breaks out above the red dashed line where you see it now, it is possible it could continue to rally higher. However, that does not necessarily mean it will continue to rise to new highs. It may simply mean the neutral trend is dominant, highlighted by the gray dashed lines. If that is that case, it would not be surprising to see the market decline once again thereafter and possibly retest the price low at the end of December. As a reminder, that is around 2,350 on the S&P, or 13% lower from here.

We encourage all investors to exercise patience and discipline until the picture becomes clearer. For clients of BLUE LINE INVESTING® please do not hesitate to call us with questions at (833) 258-2583.

Jeff Link

 

Disclaimers:

Blue Line Investing (BLI) is a disciplined, rules-based investment process that attempts to identify the primary trend within the financial markets. The process uses technical analysis, trend-following, and historical pattern recognition to define the primary trend as either positive, neutral, or negative. Once identified, all investment-related decisions are aligned with that trend. BLI is an alternative to traditional, passive investing, in that it attempts to help investors save time and money over a full market cycle, through strategic changes within our strategies as primary trends change within the financial markets.

The S&P 500 Index is one of the most commonly followed equity indices, and many consider it one of the best representations of the U.S. stock market, and a bellwether for the U.S. economy. It is comprised of 500 large companies having common stock listed on the NYSE or NASDAQ. The volatility (beta) of the account may be greater or less than the index. It is not possible to invest directly in this index. 

Technical analysis is a method of evaluating securities by analyzing statistics generated by market activity, such as past prices and volumes. Technical analysis attempts to predict a future stock price or direction based on market trends. The assumption is that the market follows discernible patterns and if these patterns can be identified then a prediction can be made. The risk is that markets may not always follow patterns. There are certain limitations to technical analysis research, such as the calculation results being impacted by changes in security price during periods of market volatility. Technical analysis is one of many indicators that may be used to analyze market data for investing purposes and should not be considered a guaranteed prediction of market activity. The opinions expressed are those of Blue Line Investing. The opinions referenced are as of the date of publication and are subject to change without notice. Blue Line Investing reserves the right to modify its current investment strategies based on changing market dynamics or client needs.

Past performance is not indicative of future results. This material is not financial advice or an offer to sell any product. The information contained herein should not be considered a recommendation to purchase or sell any particular security. Forward looking statements cannot be guaranteed.

Advisory services offered through Gordon Asset Management, LLC (GAM). GAM is an SEC-registered investment adviser. Registration does not imply a certain level or skill or training. More information about the advisor, its investment strategies and objectives, is included in the firm’s Form ADV Part 2, which can be obtained, at no charge, by calling (866) 216-1920. The principle office of Gordon Asset Management, LLC is located at 1007 Slater Road, Suite 200, Durham, North Carolina, 27703. GOR-1901-9

The BLUE LINE INVESTING® Primary Trend Update

Commentary:

The US stock market, as measured by the S&P 500 Index¹ (S&P) finished the month of December 7.71% below the BLUE LINE, down from essentially at the BLUE LINE at the end of November. With the S&P currently below the BLUE LINE, and without having experienced either a Phase 2: WARNING or Phase 3: CONFIRMATION from the BLUE LINE INVESTING® (BLI) Sell Process, we continue to categorize the primary trend as Neutral.

As a quick reminder, when markets are in a rising trend, we have seen that price tends to “bounce” off the BLUE LINE on price corrections before rising higher. But when the trend changes to a declining trend we’ve found that the opposite tends to occur. Price tends to be “rejected” by the BLUE LINE before declining lower. While we believe it is still too early to come to any definite conclusions, the fact that price is below the BLUE LINE, along with other indicators we use, suggests the market “correction” may not be over.

We will be sending out a report to clients in the coming days called the BLUE LINE INVESTING® Contingency Plan to help explain what strategic actions we have taken so far and anticipate taking over the coming weeks and months as long as price remains below the BLUE LINE. It may be time to flip our investment strategy upside down, so to speak.

Please call us at (833) 258-2583 with any questions and we look forward to talking with you soon.

Jeff Link

 

Disclaimers:

Blue Line Investing (BLI) is a disciplined, rules-based investment process that attempts to identify the primary trend within the financial markets. The process uses technical analysis, trend-following, and historical pattern recognition to define the primary trend as either positive, neutral, or negative. Once identified, all investment-related decisions are aligned with that trend. BLI is an alternative to traditional, passive investing, in that it attempts to help investors save time and money over a full market cycle, through strategic changes within our strategies as primary trends change within the financial markets.

¹ The S&P 500 Index is one of the most commonly followed equity indices, and many consider it one of the best representations of the U.S. stock market, and a bellwether for the U.S. economy. It is comprised of 500 large companies having common stock listed on the NYSE or NASDAQ. The volatility (beta) of the account may be greater or less than the index. It is not possible to invest directly in this index.

Technical analysis is a method of evaluating securities by analyzing statistics generated by market activity, such as past prices and volumes. Technical analysis attempts to predict a future stock price or direction based on market trends. The assumption is that the market follows discernible patterns and if these patterns can be identified then a prediction can be made. The risk is that markets may not always follow patterns. There are certain limitations to technical analysis research, such as the calculation results being impacted by changes in security price during periods of market volatility. Technical analysis is one of many indicators that may be used to analyze market data for investing purposes and should not be considered a guaranteed prediction of market activity. The opinions expressed are those of Blue Line Investing. The opinions referenced are as of the date of publication and are subject to change without notice. Blue Line Investing reserves the right to modify its current investment strategies based on changing market dynamics or client needs.

Past performance is not indicative of future results. This material is not financial advice or an offer to sell any product. The information contained herein should not be considered a recommendation to purchase or sell any particular security. Forward looking statements cannot be guaranteed.

Advisory services offered through Gordon Asset Management, LLC (GAM). GAM is an SEC-registered investment adviser. Registration does not imply a certain level or skill or training. More information about the advisor, its investment strategies and objectives, is included in the firm’s Form ADV Part 2, which can be obtained, at no charge, by calling (866) 216-1920. The principle office of Gordon Asset Management, LLC is located at 1007 Slater Road, Suite 200, Durham, North Carolina, 27703. GOR-1901-1

The BLUE LINE INVESTING® Primary Trend Update

Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com

Commentary:

The US stock market, as measured by the S&P 500 Index¹ (S&P) finished the month of November essentially at the Blue Line, down from 1.60% above the Blue Line at the end of October. With the S&P currently at the Blue Line, and having rallied from underneath the Blue Line, we continue to categorize the primary trend as Neutral.

Technically speaking, the 2,800 price level on the S&P appears significant. If the S&P can rise through that price level, it is possible the market may continue to rally to test the October highs. If however, it fails to rise above and hold above 2,800, the current price “bounce” may prove short-lived. Based on what is being observed at the present time, I am more inclined to begin looking for opportunities to add protective hedges to some of the BLUE LINE INVESTING® strategies as a precaution in the near-term. (Author’s note: this article was written and submitted for compliance approval Monday morning, December 3rd).

For clients of BLUE LINE INVESTING®, please feel free to call me at (833) 258-2583 if you would like to further understand how we use protective hedges, and when used, their potential impact to strategy performance.

Jeff Link

 

Disclaimers:

Blue Line Investing (BLI) is a disciplined, rules-based investment process that attempts to identify the primary trend within the financial markets. The process uses technical analysis, trend-following, and historical pattern recognition to define the primary trend as either positive, neutral, or negative. Once identified, all investment-related decisions are aligned with that trend. BLI is an alternative to traditional, passive investing, in that it attempts to help investors save time and money over a full market cycle, through strategic changes within our strategies as primary trends change within the financial markets.

¹ The S&P 500 Index is one of the most commonly followed equity indices, and many consider it one of the best representations of the U.S. stock market, and a bellwether for the U.S. economy. It is comprised of 500 large companies having common stock listed on the NYSE or NASDAQ. The volatility (beta) of the account may be greater or less than the index. It is not possible to invest directly in this index.

The volatility (beta) of an account may be greater or less than that of an index. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. Technical analysis is a method of evaluating securities by analyzing statistics generated by market activity, such as past prices and volumes. Technical analysis attempts to predict a future stock price or direction based on market trends. The assumption is that the market follows discernible patterns and if these patterns can be identified then a prediction can be made. The risk is that markets may not always follow patterns. There are certain limitations to technical analysis research, such as the calculation results being impacted by changes in security price during periods of market volatility. Technical analysis is one of many indicators that may be used to analyze market data for investing purposes and should not be considered a guaranteed prediction of market activity. The opinions expressed are those of Blue Line Investing. The opinions referenced are as of the date of publication and are subject to change without notice. Blue Line Investing reserves the right to modify its current investment strategies based on changing market dynamics or client needs.

Past performance is not indicative of future results. This material is not financial advice or an offer to sell any product. The information contained herein should not be considered a recommendation to purchase or sell any particular security. This information is intended for educational purposes only. Forward looking statements cannot be guaranteed.

Advisory services offered through Gordon Asset Management, LLC (GAM). GAM is an SEC-registered investment adviser. Registration does not imply a certain level or skill or training. More information about the advisor, its investment strategies and objectives, is included in the firm’s Form ADV Part 2, which can be obtained, at no charge, by calling (866) 216-1920. The principle office of Gordon Asset Management, LLC is located at 1007 Slater Road, Suite 200, Durham, North Carolina, 27703.

AN EFFECTIVE HEDGE

Price volatility is the price all investors must pay when attempting to increase their wealth through the stock market. And while few complain about price volatility when stock prices rise, some complain, or at least become more concerned, when stock prices decline. Today I want to provide an example of how some investors can apply a protective hedge to their investment portfolios during periods when stock prices are correcting, as they have been in recent weeks.

Before continuing this article, I suggest you first read an article I wrote back in 2016 titled “Attempting to Profit From Falling Prices” that can be found here. As was highlighted in that article there are ways to attempt to profit from falling stock prices, and one particular way is by using inverse Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs). But that article pertained to stock markets that were already in a negative primary trend. Since we currently believe the stock market continues to remain in a positive primary trend, we believe our goal should be to add a protective hedge to some of our existing investments to attempt to help limit financial losses. Here’s how we do this within our process, and if you have your own process, I believe you can do it too. Before proceeding, allow me to set the stage using technical analysis for illustration.

Look at the chart below of the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF, representing the past twelve months of price activity, courtesy of StockCharts.com.

The red arrow illustrates the point where price began to decline in earnest, or approximately $265. Within a few days price dropped 6 ½% lower to $248. But notice that on this decline price stopped just short of the gray line – a previous technical resistance and support zone that was established earlier this calendar year. When prices began to rally, our expectation – according to technical analysis – should be for prices to retrace 50% of the recent decline, which would be approximately $256.50. That number becomes our target. As it turns out, price rallied to approximately $258, a little farther than expected. But now we come to the purpose of this article – how to implement a protective hedge using inverse ETFs.

Let’s assume you own VOO in your investment portfolio. Based on the technical information observed above, if you believe that prices will soon resume their decline after the “bounce” you could add an inverse ETF, such as SH, to your portfolio that is an inverse ETF to the S&P 500 Index. By doing so, you are attempting to limit further losses on your investment in VOO without having to sell it. Look at the next chart of SH, courtesy of StockCharts.com.

This chart shows that SH performed in an almost exact opposite manner to VOO from the time of purchase. So, if you purchased SH on the “bounce,” based on some percentage of your investment in VOO, you could have effectively “hedged” some or most of your risk in VOO. This “hedge” can help you reduce or eliminate your downside price volatility depending on how much of SH you bought, and the specific price when you purchased it.

The next step will entail deciding when to sell your investment in SH, since this may not be an investment you want to own for very long. In my next article I will illustrate what we are currently monitoring to help with that decision.

Thank you for reading and please share this article with anyone you believe may find it of benefit. We hope this article helps you learn how to view the stock market from two dimensions, rather than one, and how you can take proactive action to attempt to protect some of your stock investments against declining price volatility.

Jeff Link

 

Disclaimers:

Blue Line Investing (BLI) is an alternative to traditional wealth management. BLI uses a disciplined, rules-based investment process to seek investment opportunities, regardless of whether financial markets are rising or falling. Based on technical analysis research, the process applies trend-following using specific Exponential Moving Averages (EMAs) of the market along with other technical indicators. A moving average is a widely used indicator in technical analysis that helps smooth out past price action by filtering out the “noise” from random price fluctuations. EMA’s can be calculated for any time period. Some examples include the 5 day EMA; 50 day EMA; and 150 day EMA. We have attempted to simplify this by calling the various EMAs we use in our process the “Blue”, “Purple” and “Green” lines.

Technical analysis is a method of evaluating securities by analyzing statistics generated by market activity, such as past prices and volumes. Technical analysis attempts to predict a future stock price or direction based on market trends. The assumption is that the market follows discernible patterns and if these patterns can be identified then a prediction can be made. The risk is that markets may not always follow patterns. There are certain limitations to technical analysis research, such as the calculation results being impacted by changes in security price during periods of market volatility. Technical analysis is one of many indicators that may be used to analyze market data for investing purposes and should not be considered a guaranteed prediction of market activity. The opinions expressed are those of Blue Line Investing. The opinions referenced are as of the date of publication and are subject to change without notice. Blue Line Investing reserves the right to modify its current investment strategies based on changing market dynamics or client needs.

Past performance is not indicative of future results. This material is not financial advice or an offer to sell any product. The information contained herein should not be considered a recommendation to purchase or sell any particular security. This information is intended for educational purposes only and should not be considered financial advice. It should not be assumed that the investment recommendations or decisions we make in the future will be profitable or will equal the investment performance of the securities discussed herein. Forward looking statements cannot be guaranteed.

Advisory services offered through Gordon Asset Management, LLC (GAM). GAM is an SEC-registered investment adviser. Registration does not imply a certain level or skill or training. More information about the advisor, its investment strategies and objectives, is included in the firm’s Form ADV Part 2, which can be obtained, at no charge, by calling (866) 216-1920. The principle office of Gordon Asset Management, LLC is located at 1007 Slater Road, Suite 200, Durham, North Carolina, 27703.

The primary trend of the US stock market according to BLUE LINE INVESTING®

Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com

Commentary for month ending July 2018:

The US stock market, as measured by the S&P 500 Index² (S&P) finished the month of July closing +5.11% above the Blue Line, up from 2.53% at the end of June. With the S&P remaining above the Blue Line we continue to categorize the primary trend as Positive.

We believe the 2,800 price level on the S&P is currently important and failure to hold above this price may indicate continued consolidation. A couple other notable US stock market indices are not breaking out to new highs yet so until all major indices do so in unison we do not believe new highs are likely – yet. But with price activity remaining solidly above the Blue Line this year we currently believe it may only be a matter of time before new highs occur.

Jeff Link

 

Disclaimers:

¹ Blue Line Investing (BLI) is an alternative to traditional wealth management. BLI uses a disciplined, rules-based investment process to seek investment opportunities, regardless of whether financial markets are rising or falling. Based on technical analysis research, the process applies trend-following along with observations of economic moving averages of the market and other technical indicators.

² The S&P 500 Index is one of the most commonly followed equity indices, and many consider it one of the best representations of the U.S. stock market, and a bellwether for the U.S. economy. It is comprised of 500 large companies having common stock listed on the NYSE or NASDAQ. The volatility (beta) of the account may be greater or less than the index. It is not possible to invest directly in this index.

Technical analysis is a method of evaluating securities by analyzing statistics generated by market activity, such as past prices and volumes. Technical analysis attempts to predict a future stock price or direction based on market trends. The assumption is that the market follows discernible patterns and if these patterns can be identified then a prediction can be made. The risk is that markets may not always follow patterns. There are certain limitations to technical analysis research, such as the calculation results being impacted by changes in security price during periods of market volatility. Technical analysis is one of many indicators that may be used to analyze market data for investing purposes and should not be considered a guaranteed prediction of market activity. The opinions expressed are those of Blue Line Investing. The opinions referenced are as of the date of publication and are subject to change without notice. Blue Line Investing reserves the right to modify its current investment strategies based on changing market dynamics or client needs.

Past performance is not indicative of future results. This material is not financial advice or an offer to sell any product. The information contained herein should not be considered a recommendation to purchase or sell any particular security. This information is intended for educational purposes only.

Advisory services offered through Gordon Asset Management, LLC (GAM). GAM is an SEC-registered investment adviser. Registration does not imply a certain level or skill or training. More information about the advisor, its investment strategies and objectives, is included in the firm’s Form ADV Part 2, which can be obtained, at no charge, by calling (866) 216-1920. The principle office of Gordon Asset Management, LLC is located at 1007 Slater Road, Suite 200, Durham, North Carolina, 27703.

The primary trend of the US stock market according to BLUE LINE INVESTING™

Commentary for month ending June 2018:

The US stock market, as measured by the S&P 500 Index (S&P) finished the month of June closing +2.53% above the Blue Line, almost unchanged from 2.94% at the end of April. With the S&P remaining above the Blue Line we continue to categorize the primary trend as Positive.

As can be seen from the chart above, the S&P has made little progress this calendar year and is currently near where it began. But the one constant – at least so far – has been price remaining above the Blue Line. In addition to the S&P, of the 20 investments currently owned within the Blue Line Investing STOCK Strategy, only 2 have recently dropped below their Blue Line’s by more than 5%,  signaling a Phase 1: WARNING. We will continue to monitor those investments closely, and if necessary, apply our sell process to remove them in attempt to limit further financial loss in accord with our sell process.

For clients of the BLUE LINE INVESTING™ strategies we thank you for your continued trust and confidence, and wish all readers of these posts a safe and fun 4th of July holiday.

Jeff Link

Disclaimers:

Blue Line Investing (BLI) is an alternative to traditional wealth management. BLI uses a disciplined, rules-based investment process to seek investment opportunities, regardless of whether financial markets are rising or falling. Based on technical analysis research, the process applies trend-following along with observations of economic moving averages of the market and other technical indicators.

The S&P 500 Index is one of the most commonly followed equity indices, and many consider it one of the best representations of the U.S. stock market, and a bellwether for the U.S. economy. It is comprised of 500 large companies having common stock listed on the NYSE or NASDAQ. The volatility (beta) of the account may be greater or less than the index. It is not possible to invest directly in this index.

Technical analysis is a method of evaluating securities by analyzing statistics generated by market activity, such as past prices and volumes. Technical analysis attempts to predict a future stock price or direction based on market trends. The assumption is that the market follows discernible patterns and if these patterns can be identified then a prediction can be made. The risk is that markets may not always follow patterns. There are certain limitations to technical analysis research, such as the calculation results being impacted by changes in security price during periods of market volatility. Technical analysis is one of many indicators that may be used to analyze market data for investing purposes and should not be considered a guaranteed prediction of market activity. The opinions expressed are those of Blue Line Investing. The opinions referenced are as of the date of publication and are subject to change without notice. Blue Line Investing reserves the right to modify its current investment strategies based on changing market dynamics or client needs.

Past performance is not indicative of future results. This material is not financial advice or an offer to sell any product. The information contained herein should not be considered a recommendation to purchase or sell any particular security. This information is intended for educational purposes only.

Advisory services offered through Gordon Asset Management, LLC (GAM). GAM is an SEC-registered investment adviser. Registration does not imply a certain level or skill or training. More information about the advisor, its investment strategies and objectives, is included in the firm’s Form ADV Part 2, which can be obtained, at no charge, by calling (866) 216-1920. The principle office of Gordon Asset Management, LLC is located at 1007 Slater Road, Suite 200, Durham, North Carolina, 27703.

The Primary Trend of the US Stock Market according to BLUE LINE INVESTING™ ‚¹

Commentary for month ending May 2018:

The US stock market, as measured by the S&P 500 Index² (S&P) finished the month of May closing +2.94% above the Blue Line, slightly higher from 1.47% at the end of April. With the S&P remaining above the Blue Line we continue to categorize the primary trend as Positive.

Do you wonder why we are so obsessed about monitoring price in relation to the Blue Line? It’s because since 1926 there have been 34 instances when price dropped below the Blue Line by at least 5%, or what we call a Phase 1: WARNING. Of those 34 instances, 20 became what we call Phase 2: FAILURES. Of those 20 instances, 9 became what we call Phase 3: CONFIRMATIONS. In other words, Phase 1’s became Phase 2’s 59% of the time, and Phase 2’s become Phase 3’s 45% of the time. Of these 9 historical occurrences, from the time when price first dropped below the Blue Line to the eventual end of the decline, the price decline has averaged -38.1%

What we find most interesting is in almost every one of the 9 historical occurrences the stock market decline followed the same pattern. We believe Warren Buffett said it best, “Rule No. 1: Don’t lose money. Rule No. 2: Never forget Rule No. 1.” While the BLUE LINE INVESTING™ process can not predict the future, it can help identify the early stages of the historical pattern that has coincided with significant stock market price declines. Following this process is how we attempt to follow the wise advice quoted above from the Oracle of Omaha. So our advice is simple – pay close attention to the price of most publicly traded investments in relation to the Blue Line.

Thanks for reading.

Jeff Link

 

Disclaimers:

¹ Blue Line Investing (BLI) is an alternative to traditional wealth management. BLI uses a disciplined, rules-based investment process to seek investment opportunities, regardless of whether financial markets are rising or falling. Based on technical analysis research, the process applies trend-following along with observations of economic moving averages of the market and other technical indicators.

² The S&P 500 Index is one of the most commonly followed equity indices, and many consider it one of the best representations of the U.S. stock market, and a bellwether for the U.S. economy. It is comprised of 500 large companies having common stock listed on the NYSE or NASDAQ. The volatility (beta) of the account may be greater or less than the index. It is not possible to invest directly in this index.

Technical analysis is a method of evaluating securities by analyzing statistics generated by market activity, such as past prices and volumes. Technical analysis attempts to predict a future stock price or direction based on market trends. The assumption is that the market follows discernible patterns and if these patterns can be identified then a prediction can be made. The risk is that markets may not always follow patterns. There are certain limitations to technical analysis research, such as the calculation results being impacted by changes in security price during periods of market volatility. Technical analysis is one of many indicators that may be used to analyze market data for investing purposes and should not be considered a guaranteed prediction of market activity. The opinions expressed are those of Blue Line Investing. The opinions referenced are as of the date of publication and are subject to change without notice. Blue Line Investing reserves the right to modify its current investment strategies based on changing market dynamics or client needs.

Past performance is not indicative of future results. This material is not financial advice or an offer to sell any product. The information contained herein should not be considered a recommendation to purchase or sell any particular security. This information is intended for educational purposes only.

Advisory services offered through Gordon Asset Management, LLC (GAM). GAM is an SEC-registered investment adviser. Registration does not imply a certain level or skill or training. More information about the advisor, its investment strategies and objectives, is included in the firm’s Form ADV Part 2, which can be obtained, at no charge, by calling (866) 216-1920. The principle office of Gordon Asset Management, LLC is located at 1007 Slater Road, Suite 200, Durham, North Carolina, 27703.

BLI Market View, April 2018

The primary trend of the US stock market according to BLUE LINE INVESTING™ ‚¹

Commentary for month ending April 2018:

The US stock market, as measured by the S&P 500 Index² (S&P) finished the month of April closing +1.47% above the Blue Line, almost unchanged from 1.58% at the end of March. With the S&P remaining above the Blue Line we continue to categorize the primary trend as Positive.

In a recent article entitled Are Price Movements in the Stock Market Random? (click here), we illustrated a potential descending wedge on the weekly charts. According to technical analysis this could be a positive formation suggesting higher prices soon. We believe by observing the market from different periods of time a clearer picture may emerge for how to set our expectations as investors. This technical formation continues to be in play and if prices continue to decline over the coming days to the 2,575 price level on the S&P, we believe this price level represents a preferred entry point for our clients with cash on hand or who are making their initial investments into the BLI strategies. While there are no guarantees the market will decline to this level, or even continue to decline lower if it does, we believe it is an acceptable price level to purchase select financial investments.

Thanks for reading.

Jeff Link

 

Disclaimers:

¹ Blue Line Investing (BLI) is an alternative to traditional wealth management. BLI uses a disciplined, rules-based investment process to seek investment opportunities, regardless of whether financial markets are rising or falling. Based on technical analysis research, the process applies trend-following along with observations of economic moving averages of the market and other technical indicators.

² The S&P 500 Index is one of the most commonly followed equity indices, and many consider it one of the best representations of the U.S. stock market, and a bellwether for the U.S. economy. It is comprised of 500 large companies having common stock listed on the NYSE or NASDAQ. The volatility (beta) of the account may be greater or less than the index. It is not possible to invest directly in this index.

Technical analysis is a method of evaluating securities by analyzing statistics generated by market activity, such as past prices and volumes. Technical analysis attempts to predict a future stock price or direction based on market trends. The assumption is that the market follows discernible patterns and if these patterns can be identified then a prediction can be made. The risk is that markets may not always follow patterns. There are certain limitations to technical analysis research, such as the calculation results being impacted by changes in security price during periods of market volatility. Technical analysis is one of many indicators that may be used to analyze market data for investing purposes and should not be considered a guaranteed prediction of market activity. The opinions expressed are those of Blue Line Investing. The opinions referenced are as of the date of publication and are subject to change without notice. Blue Line Investing reserves the right to modify its current investment strategies based on changing market dynamics or client needs.

Past performance is not indicative of future results. This material is not financial advice or an offer to sell any product. The information contained herein should not be considered a recommendation to purchase or sell any particular security. This information is intended for educational purposes only.

Advisory services offered through Gordon Asset Management, LLC (GAM). GAM is an SEC-registered investment adviser. Registration does not imply a certain level or skill or training. More information about the advisor, its investment strategies and objectives, is included in the firm’s Form ADV Part 2, which can be obtained, at no charge, by calling (866) 216-1920. The principle office of Gordon Asset Management, LLC is located at 1007 Slater Road, Suite 200, Durham, North Carolina, 27703.

Are Price Movements in the Stock Market Random?

Beginning in February price volatility returned to the US stock markets with a vengeance. Down 125 points! Up 108! Down 104! Up 87! Daily price changes like these in the S&P 500 Index may cause worry and anxiety for an investor. But should they? Are these individual price movements random? Or when viewed together do they reveal a pattern as the market attempts to tell investors a story?

Look at the weekly chart above courtesy of StockCharts.com. I believe there are four specific items worth paying attention to. They are:

  1. The rising primary trend channel (identified by the green dashed lines labelled 1A and 1B)
  2. The potential descending wedge (identified by the purple dashed lines labelled 2A and 2B)
  3. Price (identified by the vertical red and black lines)
  4. The “Blue Line.”

Using technical analysis, the current story the market may be telling investors is that prices could continue to rise in the not-to-distant future. First, all the daily price movements since February in the S&P 500 Index (and many other indices) have remained predominately above their “Blue Lines.” The Blue Line is our reference point and at present, we remain optimistic.

Second, the primary trend over the past two years has been positive with prices trading within a rising trend channel. This channel has been identified by the dashed green lines labeled “1A” and “1B.” If price continues to remain within this channel, technical analysis suggests higher stock market prices to come.

The third and final piece of the story, at least in the short-term, includes a potential technical formation called a descending wedge. This formation can be identified by the downward-sloping dashed purple lines labeled “2A” and “2B.” This formation, if correct, has been created by all those individual up and down days mentioned in the beginning of this article. If this formation comes to fruition the market may be suggesting prices should break out to the upside above line 2A – eventually.

I believe the combination of all these pieces of information suggest the market may rise higher over the weeks to come. However, it doesn’t mean it can not drop lower first. Even though the story of the market can and will change over time, I believe these individual price movements, in concert with each other, can help investors set their expectations for what may happen next – even in the face of news headlines that may create noise, confusion, and anxiety.

After reading this article and witnessing the symmetry within the market from the chart provided I hope you will begin to see what I began seeing many years ago – individual price movements in the stock market may not be random at all. While it may take some time for the story to develop, I believe stock market price movements tend to be precise, and once investors learn how to recognize these patterns they can hopefully become more successful investors.

Jeff Link

Disclaimers:

¹ Blue Line Investing (BLI) is an alternative to traditional wealth management. BLI uses a disciplined, rules-based investment process to seek investment opportunities, regardless of whether financial markets are rising or falling. Based on technical analysis research, the process applies trend-following using specific Exponential Moving Averages (EMAs) of the market along with other technical indicators. A moving average is a widely used indicator in technical analysis that helps smooth out past price action by filtering out the “noise” from random price fluctuations. EMA’s can be calculated for any time period. Some examples include the 5 day EMA; 50 day EMA; and 150 day EMA. We have attempted to simplify this by calling the various EMAs we use in our process the “Blue”, “Purple” and “Green” lines.

² The S&P 500 Index is one of the most commonly followed equity indices, and many consider it one of the best representations of the U.S. stock market, and a bellwether for the U.S. economy. It is comprised of 500 large companies having common stock listed on the NYSE or NASDAQ. The volatility (beta) of the account may be greater or less than the index. It is not possible to invest directly in this index.

Technical analysis is a method of evaluating securities by analyzing statistics generated by market activity, such as past prices and volumes. Technical analysis attempts to predict a future stock price or direction based on market trends. The assumption is that the market follows discernible patterns and if these patterns can be identified then a prediction can be made. The risk is that markets may not always follow patterns. There are certain limitations to technical analysis research, such as the calculation results being impacted by changes in security price during periods of market volatility. Technical analysis is one of many indicators that may be used to analyze market data for investing purposes and should not be considered a guaranteed prediction of market activity. The opinions expressed are those of Blue Line Investing. The opinions referenced are as of the date of publication and are subject to change without notice. Blue Line Investing reserves the right to modify its current investment strategies based on changing market dynamics or client needs.

Past performance is not indicative of future results. This material is not financial advice or an offer to sell any product. The information contained herein should not be considered a recommendation to purchase or sell any particular security. This information is intended for educational purposes only and should not be considered financial advice. It should not be assumed that the investment recommendations or decisions we make in the future will be profitable or will equal the investment performance of the securities discussed herein. Forward looking statements cannot be guaranteed.

Advisory services offered through Gordon Asset Management, LLC (GAM). GAM is an SEC-registered investment adviser. Registration does not imply a certain level or skill or training. More information about the advisor, its investment strategies and objectives, is included in the firm’s Form ADV Part 2, which can be obtained, at no charge, by calling (866) 216-1920. The principle office of Gordon Asset Management, LLC is located at 1007 Slater Road, Suite 200, Durham, North Carolina, 27703.

BLI Market View, March 2018

The BLUE LINE INVESTING™ (BLI)¹ Market View of the US stock market for the month ending March 2018

Commentary:

The S&P 500 Index  (S&P) finished the month of March closing +1.58% above the Blue Line, noticeably lower from 5.36% at the end of February. With the S&P remaining above the Blue Line we continue to categorize the primary trend as Positive.

In last month’s commentary we shared our belief that the price correction may not be over and that a retest of the recent February price low may be forthcoming. So far that belief appears to be playing out. From a historical perspective only, we believe probabilities now favor a break in price below the Blue Line. For investors who have kept cash on the sidelines, or who raised cash within their investment strategies within recent months, this may create an opportunity to invest that cash at what we believe could be favorable prices.

Thanks for reading.

Jeff Link

 Disclaimers:

¹ Blue Line Investing (BLI) is an alternative to traditional wealth management. BLI uses a disciplined, rules-based investment process to seek investment opportunities, regardless of whether financial markets are rising or falling. Based on technical analysis research, the process applies trend-following along with observations of economic moving averages of the market and other technical indicators.

² The S&P 500 Index is one of the most commonly followed equity indices, and many consider it one of the best representations of the U.S. stock market, and a bellwether for the U.S. economy. It is comprised of 500 large companies having common stock listed on the NYSE or NASDAQ. The volatility (beta) of the account may be greater or less than the index. It is not possible to invest directly in this index.

Technical analysis is a method of evaluating securities by analyzing statistics generated by market activity, such as past prices and volumes. Technical analysis attempts to predict a future stock price or direction based on market trends. The assumption is that the market follows discernible patterns and if these patterns can be identified then a prediction can be made. The risk is that markets may not always follow patterns. There are certain limitations to technical analysis research, such as the calculation results being impacted by changes in security price during periods of market volatility. Technical analysis is one of many indicators that may be used to analyze market data for investing purposes and should not be considered a guaranteed prediction of market activity. The opinions expressed are those of Blue Line Investing. The opinions referenced are as of the date of publication and are subject to change without notice. Blue Line Investing reserves the right to modify its current investment strategies based on changing market dynamics or client needs.

Past performance is not indicative of future results. This material is not financial advice or an offer to sell any product. The information contained herein should not be considered a recommendation to purchase or sell any particular security. This information is intended for educational purposes only.

Advisory services offered through Gordon Asset Management, LLC (GAM). GAM is an SEC-registered investment adviser. Registration does not imply a certain level or skill or training. More information about the advisor, its investment strategies and objectives, is included in the firm’s Form ADV Part 2, which can be obtained, at no charge, by calling (866) 216-1920. The principle office of Gordon Asset Management, LLC is located at 1007 Slater Road, Suite 200, Durham, North Carolina, 27703.