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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 2011
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I bought Profiting from ETF Rotation Strategies in Turbulent Markets (2011) by Leslie N. Masonson to see if it validated my ETF rotation strategy, which it did. The author describes two rotation strategies for trading ETFs: relative strength and moving average. Both are momentum-based strategies. Either plan will handily beat a buy-and-hold scheme, whether measured by returns, drawdowns, or risks, and will make money in any market -- bull, bear, or stagnant. I use the relative strength strategy with my ETF portfolios.

This book appears to be available only as a Kindle eBook. I do not own a Kindle. Fortunately, Amazon makes it possible to read Kindle editions on my PC with a free application that can be downloaded from their website. Consequently, I downloaded the Kindle reader to my netbook computer. After installing the reader, I went to the Kindle Store and purchased Masonson's eBook. As a side benefit, I also received the Second Edition of the New Oxford American Dictionary, which came free with the PC Kindle application. It works like a charm with the Kindle app.

I was pleased to see that Masonson used the same websites that I use for researching and backtesting various ETF portfolios. The most useful website for Masonson and for me is ETFreplay. It allows users to backtest ETF portfolios with historical market data going back to 2003.

Masonson built a portfolio consisting of fifteen ETFs from six asset classes (US equities, foreign equities, US bonds, foreign bonds, commodities, and emerging markets). I prefer to use five asset classes (US Equities, foreign equities, bonds, commodities, and real estate), with one ETF per asset class, as promoted by Mebane Faber in his book, The Ivy Portfolio (2009).

Using his portfolio of 15 ETFs, Masonson opted to buy the top three ETFs at the end of the month. On the other hand, with my 5-ETF IVY portfolio, I have found better returns, lower volatility, and lower drawdowns buying only the top-1 ETF at month end.

Masonson promotes the use of stop orders to limit drawdowns and preserve gains. My personal experience with stops has been abysmal. I've thrown away more money than I've preserved or gained with my stop loss strategies. On the other hand, I've discovered that monthly rotation of funds using a relative strength strategy with a low volatility portfolio will automatically switch from a weaker to a stronger ETF at month end, generally before a renegade ETF can do much harm to my bottom line.

This is a short book. It cannot do much more than introduce the reader to two excellent ETF trading strategies. Mastery of the strategies awaits the reader who will follow through with research into the hyperlinks provided by Masonson.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on June 25, 2011
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
After spending many years studying dozens of investing and trading strategies, the two strategies in this book have proven to be simple, safe, and profitable. My only suggestion would be to use other portfolios and ranking measures than those recommended by the author for the relative strength strategy. The author's suggested strategy uses 15 ETFs, and chooses the top three each month after ranking based on the 3-month return. From January 2008 through June 24 2011 this gave an annual compound return of 19.5 pct, a max draw down of -20.9 pct, and a Sharpe Ratio of .81. Though certainly better than buy and hold, I find a -20.9 pct draw down to be far too high for my comfort zone.

I suggest the following, which is much more profitable, much more safe, and only uses 5 ETFs. Use a portfolio consisting of DBC (commodities), EFA (foreign stocks), ICF (real estate), IEF (treasuries) and SPY (US large cap stocks). Rank at the end of each month using one of the author's suggested websites named ETFReplay, and using that website's default settings: 40% of the rank is based on 3 month returns, 30% on 20 day returns, 30% on volatility, and ranked at the close of each month. Put 100 pct into the single top ranked ETF. From January 2008 through June 24 2011, this formula had an annual compound return of 30.3 pct, a max draw down of -6.2 pct, and a Sharpe Ratio of 1.65. Running the same formula from January 2006 through June 24 2011 gives very similar results.

For those who want more diversification, a simple variation on this strategy that has about the same performance is as follows. Use ten ETFs: GLD and DBC for commodities, EFA and EEM for foreign developed and emerging markets, ICF and RWX for domestic and foreign real estate, IWM and SPY for small and large cap US stocks, TLH and TLT for medium and longer term US treasuries. Use the ETFReplay default settings as before, and select the top two ETFs each month. This approach gave a compound annual return of 28.2 pct, a max drawdown of -6.7 pct, and a Sharpe Ratio of 1.55.

The above approaches are not easily done for most investors without reliance on the ETFReplay website, which costs about $30 per month, although an investor who has good charting and spreadsheet skills can easily replicate the approach without reliance on ETFReplay.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Les Masonson has done it again by providing the investment public with a new and essential book that is absolutely required reading for anyone seeking to invest in today's volatile markets. I have read his previous book, "Buy Don't Hold", which provided a sound investment plan. Now, in "Profiting From ETF Rotation Strategies", Mr.
Masonson provides a simple and easy to understand strategy on how to gain exposure to the market and its potential gains, while minimizing one's exposure to the oft times heartbreaking losses. For someone who has been investing in the markets for some time now, I particularly appreciate Mr. Masonson's efforts to save investor's money on fees and commissions whenever possible, by recommending ETFS that one can purchase commission free from certain brokerages, thereby enhancing returns over the long-term

The heart of Mr. Masonson's book is the method whereby an investor uses disciplined rules to purchase select ETFs at moments in time when there is the greatest opportunity for gain, and more importantly, exit them before a substantial correction. In this simple and elegant book, Mr. Masonson refutes the dated and failed theory of "buy and hold", while at the same time providing investors with a tool kit that provides the information needed to participate in the stock market in a rational and profit oriented manner. I am reminded of the famous Warren Buffet quote: "Rule number one in investing is: don't lose money. Rule number two is: refer to rule number one." For investors, such as myself, who respect the risks associated with investing in the stock market, "Profiting from ETF Rotation Strategies" is both mandatory and enjoyable reading.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on April 16, 2011
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
After having gone thru two bear markets with the "Buy and Hold "approach to portfolio management and a so called "new normal" world market now facing all investors I had become totally disillusioned with the "buy and hold " approach in my IRA. This led to my increasing interest in all things technical as related to portfolio management, and during my recent quest for "a better way" than "buy and hold" I stumbled on two sources that have really helped me to understand a better way. The first was ETFREPLAY.COM and the other was a book --"BUY DON'T HOLD" by LES MASONSON. Both of these source's use only ETF's with a " rotational strategy" in and out of the market based primarily on relative strength--the thought being to be in the market in the "good times" and out in the "bad times". LES MASONSON now has an updated book in follow-up to his first book---a 34-page ebook titled "Profiting from ETF Rotation Strategies in Turbulent Markets ". This updated e-book on ETF rotational strategies greatly simplifies the "dashboard" using selected indicators to make rotational ETF choices. This along with his "backtesting" of two strategies using ETFREPLAY.COM makes this an approach that first and foremost---"makes sense" and greatly simplifies the investing process for someone that wants better results than " buy and hold", and has an interest in managing his own portfolio---especially during these turbulent times, in which so many have seen their investments depleted.

My recommendation is to read first LES MASONSON's book "BUY DON'T HOLD" to get the basis for the ETF rotational strategy in which he uses another great website ETFSCREEN.COM and then follow up with the smaller e-book--"PROFITING FROM ETF ROTATIONAL STRATEGIES IN TURBULENT MARKETS"--in which he uses the fantastic and key website --ETFREPLAY.COM---that allows the backtesting for his strategies and any more that you might have. MASONSON further simplifies the process for the savvy investor by recommending 15 key ETF's that, for the most part cover the investing sprectrum. There is also a blog on the BUY DON'T HOLD WEBSITE that helps the newcomer get started and is updated weekly.

I have found that by using the ETF rotational strategies in these two books and by backtesting the 15 ETF's in portfolio's in ETFREPLAY.COM-- I have a much better understanding and confidence in going forward as to what will work for me in the future, and I can adjust it to fit my level of risk tolerance.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I backtested these strategies on longer timefrome and results are much worse that those producted by author. In fact, book is based on backtest from 3 years, with monthly rotation. It is definitely not enough data to judge on strategy. Most of profit is generated in one year, with two other years flat. Book should be revised to reflect 3 more years of data.
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on November 27, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Very practical guide. I have been stumbling around for years and have seen and dismissed this information before. Maybe this time the student was ready
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 15, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
You must be kidding with so many good reviews on a book of 35 pages. Please let me know whether it is that good or you're the friends of this author.

I recommend the readers of this book to try out my new book Sector Rotation. It covers most topics on sector rotation including market timing and currently it is my best seller. Few books if any covers the most important topic of switching to cash during market plunges. It has 285 pages for less than $10 (Kindle version). It is risk-free (check out Amazon's return policy).

Besides rotating to cash during market plunges, it covers topics on country sectors, favorable sectors in different phases of a market cycle...
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on February 23, 2015
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This book was rubbish. How someone even can speak about back-testing results,
when back-testing covers only three years.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
This e-book by Les Masonson lays out straight-forward, easy to implement strategies using ETFs to make money in today's volatile markets. The book provides individual investors with two very user-friendly strategies that surpass buy-and-hold with less risk. It allows investors to be in control of their investments, and be more pro-active in decision making. Information is provided on how to read market conditions, and it provides options that allows an investor to determine the risk level he/she is willing to accept. Links to the relevant internet web sites are provided to obtain all the free information you need to implement the strategy you select.

Overall, I would highly recommend this e-book, and at a minimum-- I would suggest you evaluate its strategies for your future investing decisions. I have previously read and reviewed Les's "All About Market Timing" book which I found to be excellent as well. This e-book provides a complete spelled out investment plan that should help investors make money in these volatile times.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Information was helpful however since this is not available in a printed version,
the graphs and other information that was copied into the book was nearly impossible to read.
We tried and tried to be able to print a few pages that we wanted to enlarge, but to no avail.
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