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These were the best investment strategies in the first half of 2020 - 19 strategies tested

We have said this for a while, but it is true. If you look at the first half 2020 returns of the 19 investment strategies we track you can only come to one conclusion - the markets are messed up!

With messed up I mean if you look at the performance of nearly all strategies world-wide you will see what has worked in the past (over decades in up and down markets) just did not work in the first half of 2020.

If you invested in overvalued bad quality companies, you would have had the best returns!

 

What investment strategies worked in the first half of 2020?

So, what worked best world-wide in the first half of 2020?

Here is a short summary:

  1. Buying companies with the highest Value Composite One (overvalued companies) would have given you the best return of +12.1%
  2. Bad Value Composite Two companies (with the worst – most overvalued Value Composite One ranking) performed well up +11.9%
  3. Low Book to Market companies (expensive or high Price to Book companies) also performed well and was up 6.9%

 

Results were ALL over the place

If you look at the All Developed Markets table below you will see that how the rest of the strategies performed.

Performance was all over the place – meaning it was impossible to say what strategy would have done well based on long-term back tested returns of strategies that work.

Before I show you the exact strategies and their returns first some information on what and how we calculated the returns.

 

What strategies we tested – on 9,700 companies worldwide

We looked at the performance of the following 19 investment strategies from 1 January 2020 to 30 June 2020:

  1. Large vs small companies (Quintile 1 = Biggest companies)
  2. Book to Market value (inverse of price to book)
  3. Earnings yield (EBIT / EV)
  4. Qi Value – the strategy I use in my own portfolio
  5. Price Index 6m (Current price / Price 6 months ago) also known as 6 months Momentum
  6. Price Index 12m (Current price / Price 12 months ago) also known as 12 months momentum
  7. VC One also known as Value Composite One rank
  8. VC Two known as Value Composite Two rank (Value Composite One with an additional ratio: Shareholder Yield)
  9. ERP5 ranking (Ranking based on Price to Book, Earnings Yield, Return on invested capital (ROIC), 5-year average ROIC)
  10. Shareholders Yield (Dividend yield + Percentage of Shares Repurchased)
  11. Dividend Yield
  12. Dividend growth 5 years (The geometric average dividend per share growth rate over the past 5 years)
  13. MF Rank (Magic Formula Ranking developed by Joel Greenblatt)
  14. Piotroski F-Score
  15. Qi Liquidity ranking (Adjusted Profits / Yearly trading value)
  16. Gross Margin Novy-Marx (gross profits / total assets) – the best quality ratio we have tested
  17. Free Cash Flow (FCF) Score (Calculated by combining Free cash flow growth with free cash flow stability)
  18. Adjusted slope average (125-day, 250 day) – momentum
  19. Adjusted slope (90 days) – momentum

 

Only companies worth more than €50 million trading more than €25,000 per day

We excluded companies with a market value less than €50 million and a median 30-day trading value less than €25,000.

This left a universe of around 9,700 companies which means each quintile of the All Developed Markets back test consisted of about 1,900 companies. This large number of companies is good because it makes it unlikely that any one company impact the return of any quintile.

 

Markets worldwide then regions

The following stock markets (and regions) were included:

North American Markets

  • USA
  • Canada

European Markets

  • All the Eurozone countries
  • United Kingdom
  • Switzerland
  • Norway
  • Denmark
  • Sweden

Japanese Market

  • Only Japan

Other Asian and Oceanic Markets

  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Hong Kong
  • Singapore

 

All companies in five groups – Quintile 1 the best

To test each of the strategies, using point in time data (so no look ahead bias), on 1 January 2019 we divided all the companies in the universe into five 20% groups or quintiles.

Quintile 1 shows the companies that scored best in for all the strategies we tested - Quintile 5 the worst.

For example, Quintile 1 shows the return of the 20% of companies with the highest book to market ratio (lowest price to book – cheap companies) at the start of the year.

And Quintile 5 shows the return of companies with the lowest book to market ratio (highest price to book ratio – expensive companies).

For Price Index 6m quintile 1 show companies with the best momentum (biggest share price increase over 6 months) and quintile 5 companies with the biggest price fall in the previous 6 months.

For the Piotroski F Score quintile 1 shows the return of companies with the best Piotroski F-Score (9 or 8) and quintile 5 those with the worse F-Score.

For the Size strategy quintile 1 shows the return of the 20% of companies with the biggest market value and quintile 5 the 20% smallest companies.

 

 

What worked world-wide?

The following table summarises how all 19 investment strategies performed world-wide:

For reference the MSCI World Index lost -17.0% in Euro

Best performing investment strategies worldwide the first half of 2020

Best performing strategies worldwide
Source:
www.quant-investing.com

 

How did all the best rated companies (Quintile 1) perform?

  • Average return Quintile 1 of all strategies: -11.4%
  • Maximum return of Quintile 1 strategies: 1.2%
  • Minimum return of Quintile 1 strategies: -20.1%

 

What worked?

Here are the two best performing Quintile 1 strategies:

  • Investing in companies with the biggest one-year price increase (Price Index 12m) was the best strategy returning 1.2%
  • Investing in companies with the biggest 6-month price increase (Price Index 6m) was the second-best strategy returning -1.7%

 

What did not work?

These were the worse Quintile 1 strategies:

  • Companies with the highest dividend yield was the worst performing strategy and would have lost you -20.1%
  • The second worse strategy was investing in companies with the best Value Composite One ranking. If you used that strategy you would have lost -19.1% of your portfolio.

Click Here – To get all the tools you need to implement all 19 strategies NOW!

 

 

What worked in Europe?

Below is the performance of all 19 strategies in Europe:

For reference the European STOXX 600 Index lost -13.6%

Best performing investment strategies Europe the first half of 2020

Best performing strategies in Europe
Source:
www.quant-investing.com

 

How did all the best rated companies (Quintile 1) perform?

  • Average return Quintile 1 of all strategies: -14.0%
  • Maximum return of Quintile 1 strategies: -1.0%
  • Minimum return of Quintile 1 strategies: -23.4%

 

What worked?

These were the best two Quintile 1 strategies:

  • Buying the 20% of companies with the biggest 12-month price increase (Price Index 12m) was the best investment strategy in Europe, it lost -1.0%
  • Using the Adjusted Slope 125 day / 250-day momentum indicator you would have earned the second highest return in Europe of -3.5%

 

What did not work?

The two worse performing Quintile 1 strategies were:

  • If you invested in high book to market (low price to book) companies, you would have had the biggest loss of -23.4%
  • The second worse strategy was investing in companies with the best Value Composite One ranking. If you used that strategy you would have lost -23.2% of your portfolio.

Click Here – To get this weekly report and the tools to implement all 19 strategies NOW!

 

 

What worked in North America?

Below is the performance of all 19 strategies in North America:

For reference the S&P 500 Index lost -4.0%

Best performing investment strategies North America the first half of 2020

Best performing strategies in North America
Source:
www.quant-investing.com

 

How all the best rated companies (Quintile 1) perform?

  • Average return Quintile 1 of all strategies: -12.7%
  • Maximum return of Quintile 1 strategies: +7.1%
  • Minimum return of Quintile 1 strategies: -27.2%

 

What worked?

The two best performing Quintile 1 strategies were:

  • Investing in companies with the biggest one-year price increase (Price Index 12m) was the best strategy returning 7.1%
  • Investing in companies with the biggest 6-month price increase (Price Index 6m) was the second-best strategy returning 4.0%

 

What did not work?

The two worse performing Quintile 1 strategies were:

  • Investing in the best Value Composite Two companies did not do well and would have lost you -27.2%
  • The next worse strategy was buying the best ranked Value Composite One companies. It would have lost you -26.7%

 

Click Here – To get all the tools you need to implement all 19 strategies in your portfolio

 

 

This was your best strategy in Japan

Below is the performance of all 19 strategies in Japan.

For reference the Japanese Nikkei 225 Index lost -4.0%

Best performing investment strategies Japan the first half of 2020

Best performing strategies in Japan
Source:
www.quant-investing.com

 

How all the best rated companies (Quintile 1) perform?

  • Average return Quintile 1 of all strategies: -9.6%
  • Maximum return of Quintile 1 strategies: -3.5%
  • Minimum return of Quintile 1 strategies: -14.0%

 

What worked?

The two best performing Quintile 1 strategies were:

  • Companies with the largest Gross Margin (Novy-Marx) performed best by losing -3.5%
  • Investing in companies with the biggest one-year price increase (Price Index 12m) was the second-best strategy that lost -6.2%

 

What did not work?

The two worse performing Quintile 1 strategies were:

  • Companies with the highest dividend yield was the worst performing strategy and would have lost you -14.1%
  • If you invested in high book to market (low price to book) companies, you would have had the second largest loss of –13.4%

 

Click Here – To get this weekly report and the tools to implement all 19 strategies NOW!

 

 

What worked in Asia and Oceania Markets?

(Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and Singapore companies are included in this analysis)

I could not find a reference index for this market, please let me know if you have a suggestion.

Best performing investment strategies Asia Oceania the first half of 2020

Best performing strategies in Asia and Oceania
Source: www.quant-investing.com

 

How all the best rated companies (Quintile 1) perform?

  • Average return Quintile 1 of all strategies: -10.0%
  • Maximum return of Quintile 1 strategies: +3.6%
  • Minimum return of Quintile 1 strategies: -20.8%

 

What worked?

The two best performing Quintile 1 strategies were:

  • Investing in companies with the biggest one-year price increase (Price Index 12m) was the best strategy returning +3.6%
  • Investing in companies with the biggest 6-month price increase (Price Index 6m) was the second-best strategy returning +3.6%

 

What did not work?

The two worse performing Quintile 1 strategies were:

  • If you invested in high book to market (low price to book) companies, you would have had the biggest loss of -20.8%
  • The next worse strategy was buying the best ranked Value Composite One companies. It would have lost you -17.6%

 

 

Returns all over the place – is normal

As you can see no one strategy worked everywhere – sometimes exactly the opposite worked – this just proves that over the short-term anything is possible.

A warning – the investment strategy may stop working

Remember just because a strategy did well in the first half of 2020 does not mean it will continue to do so. As you can see the same strategy performed well in one region and terribly in another.

Jumping on the best performing strategy is most likely a bad idea - possibly a very bad idea.

In fact, your best strategy may be the worst performing strategy as it may turn around – this is not a recommendation. Just like you I have no clue as to what strategy will work in the future and if someone says he does, he is lying.

If you want to read about the best strategies we have tested click here: Best investment strategies Quant Investing

 

Wishing you profitable investing for the rest of 2020

PS To get this report on a weekly basis as well as the tools to implement all 19 strategies (for less than an inexpensive lunch for two) in your portfolio sign up here.

PPS It’s so easy to put things off, why not sign up right now?

 

Click Here – To get this weekly report and the tools to implement all 19 strategies NOW!