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Bulkowski’s IRS Test Portfolio

Class Elliott Wave Fundamentals Psychology Quiz Studies Setups Software Tutorials More...
Candles Chart
Small Patterns
As of 02/20/2019
  Industrials: 25,954 +63.12 +0.2%
  Transports: 10,627 +9.81 +0.1%
  Utilities: 746 +2.71 +0.4%
  Nasdaq: 7,489 +2.30 +0.0%
  S&P 500: 2,785 +4.94 +0.2%
Tom's Targets    Overview: 02/14/2019
26,000 or 24,600 by 03/01/2019
10,900 or 9,900 by 03/01/2019
755 or 725 by 03/01/2019
7,700 or 7,050 by 03/01/2019
2,825 or 2,650 by 03/01/2019

Written by and copyright © 2005-2019 by Thomas N. Bulkowski. All rights reserved. Disclaimer: You alone are responsible for your investment decisions. See Privacy/Disclaimer for more information. Some pattern names are the registered trademarks of their respective owners.

As of 5/19/17, I stopped updating this test portfolio because it has served its purpose.

This page shows a test portfolio based on industry relative strength. You can find background information on the method here. I strongly suggest you read the information in the link, including results 2.

Warning: I am not recommending that you use this portfolio to build a trading system or to trade the securities listed in the portfolio. I just show this model as an experiment of how a portfolio based on industry relative strength would do in real life. Some of the securities have made large gains but the draw down also tends to be huge. That means you can lose a substantial amount of money following this portfolio.

You should conduct your own research to verify this trading idea and performance before relying on the results. Historical testing may not reflect real-time trading and past performance does not guarantee future results. See Privacy/Disclaimer for more information.

Portfolio Construction Rules

I used the following guidelines to construct and maintain the portfolio.

  • Securities selected for inclusion in the portfolio come from a database of approximately 550 securities.
  • On 11/13/2008, I allowed the portfolio to trade ETFs, too. Those are now included from the start date (1/1/2008).
  • All trades are in round lots (no fractional shares) of at least 100 shares each.
  • Commissions are $10 per trade ($10 for a buy and $10 for a sale).
  • SEC fee is applied to all sales (not buys) at the current rate (as of May 2008) of $11/$1,000,000 of value.
  • No slippage is factored into the trades.
  • All trades occur at the opening price the next trading day after a signal.
  • Concurrent (multiple) open positions in the same stock are not allowed.
  • The portfolio can hold an unlimited number of securities.
  • Securities priced less than $5 per share are excluded.
  • Commissions and SEC fee are applied to the S&P 500 index as if it were a stock.
  • Dividends are not included nor interest on cash balances, taxes, ECN fees and so on.
  • Margin is not allowed.
  • Each buy is for no more than $30,000, including commissions.
  • For a buy, pick from the top performing industry over the past 6 months. This was originally set for the top 3 industries but too many whipsaws occurred (selling one day and buying it back the next day). The changed boosted performance for the year while cutting the maximum potential loss.
  • Do not buy if the previous trade in the same stock was a loss and it occurred within 31 days (the wash sale rule).
  • Select the top 3 best performing securities in that industry, based on the price change for each stock over the past 6 months (stock relative strength).
  • Sell all of the securities in an industry if the rank drops to or below 5.


IRS Test Portfolio Trading Strategy

This portfolio uses two methods for selecting securities: industry relative strength and stock relative strength. Both methods look at today’s close versus a close 6 months ago.

I set the parameters to buy at rank 1, three securities per industry, and sell at rank 45. That tested best for profits. However, since only 48 industries were represented, waiting for the sell rank to hit 45 suggested a buy and hold mentality with the potential of giving back too much profit. I redid the spreadsheet to include an average of the maximum loss. I define the maximum loss as the largest decline below the buy price while the stock is owned. This is not the same as the draw down.

Having found the maximum loss per stock, I just averaged the results to get the largest average decline. I did this to help smooth over the large declines caused by dead-cat bounces. Those make the losses look far worse than they actually are.

I combined the average maximum loss and the average gain and sorted the results. The spreadsheet shows the order. Using the new information, I determined that buying when the rank climbed to 3 or higher, using 3 securities, and selling when the rank dropped to 5 gave the best profit, smallest loss, and did not concentrate the portfolio in any one industry.

Tracking the portfolio in real time showed that several securities were sold on one day and rebought the next. So, I changed the buy signal to select only securities from the top performing industry (a rank of 1). A rank of 2 did not cure the whipsaw problem. The change boosted the performance for the year while cutting the maximum potential loss slightly and substantially cutting the number of trades. All of that is a win-win setup.


IRS Test Portfolio

In the table, the Buy/Sell columns show the dates when shares were purchased/sold at the opening price. The Net Change column is the profit or loss of the trade, expressed as a percentage (shares x sell price - commission - SEC fee) - (shares x buy price + commission). If the trade is still open, the closing price as of the date the list was created is used as the sale price. The S&P Change column is the change in the S&P 500 index between the Buy and Sell dates, using the same Net Change calculation as for the stock. The Max Loss column shows the largest drop below the buy price during the time the stock was held. This is not the same as a draw down but it is a potential loss. If you owned the stock and panicked, you could have sold at such a loss. However, the system does not work that way, so the actual loss is not as severe (but you have to hold the stock until told to sell).

-- Thomas Bulkowski

VMC06/03/2015300$90.6208/21/2015$92.502.0% -3.6%-7.4%
MLM06/03/2015200$149.1108/21/2015$165.2810.8% -3.6%-5.1%
CRH06/03/20151,000$28.3308/21/2015$29.032.4% -3.6%-5.9%
BSET07/02/2015800$33.8107/21/2015$37.2210.0% 2.4%-0.8%
TILE07/02/20151,100$25.1307/21/2015$24.30-3.4% 2.4%-5.2%
AYI07/02/2015100$189.0007/21/2015$194.352.7% 2.4%-1.9%
ELNK07/28/20153,900$7.6608/28/2015$8.389.3% -4.1%-5.0%
STMP07/28/2015400$71.4708/28/2015$80.9213.1% -4.1%-8.5%
VRSN07/28/2015400$68.5208/28/2015$69.190.9% -4.1%-6.6%
FDN07/28/2015400$71.7608/28/2015$68.63-4.4% -4.1%-50.8%
SKX08/04/2015200$149.1810/19/2015$45.70-69.4% -3.1%-20.0%
CROX08/04/20151,900$15.0810/19/2015$11.36-24.7% -3.1%-28.0%
NKE08/04/2015200$114.9510/19/2015$131.7114.5% -3.1%-17.8%
DUG08/24/2015300$82.8809/10/2015$72.64-12.4% -1.2%-20.4%
SMN08/24/2015700$42.7509/10/2015$38.30-10.5% -1.2%-14.8%
DXD08/24/20151,100$26.4409/10/2015$24.04-9.1% -1.2%-13.0%
TPX09/10/2015300$78.2009/21/2015$77.21-1.4% 1.0%-4.6%
AYI09/10/2015100$198.5909/21/2015$191.92-3.5% 1.0%-6.3%
TILE09/10/20151,200$24.0909/21/2015$25.114.2% 1.0%-2.4%
ELNK09/22/20153,600$8.2301/20/2016$5.75-30.2% -4.3%-28.8%
STMP09/22/2015300$79.4801/20/2016$89.5712.6% -4.3%-11.4%
VRSN09/22/2015400$70.2301/20/2016$73.564.7% -4.3%-4.5%
JCOM09/22/2015400$69.9101/20/2016$71.872.7% -4.3%-2.7%
SRS09/23/2015500$52.4510/08/2015$48.72-7.2% 2.6%-6.6%
DXD09/23/20151,200$23.6410/08/2015$22.09-6.6% 2.6%-6.4%
SDS09/23/20151,300$22.7810/08/2015$21.55-5.5% 2.6%-5.4%
DUG01/12/2016300$84.0102/22/2016$73.07-13.1% -0.2%-14.8%
SMN01/12/2016700$40.8402/22/2016$36.79-10.0% -0.2%-10.4%
SKF01/12/2016500$51.4502/22/2016$55.237.3% -0.2%-0.4%
KLAC02/02/2016400$66.3102/08/2016$64.60-2.7% -3.2%-1.1%
SMTC02/02/20161,400$20.5602/08/2016$17.05-17.1% -3.2%-11.9%
XLNX02/02/2016600$49.2102/08/2016$47.70-3.1% -3.2%-4.1%
BKH02/04/2016500$50.7004/18/2016$58.5015.3% 8.7%-5.0%
AVA02/04/2016700$37.9704/18/2016$40.316.1% 8.7%-2.8%
EE02/04/2016700$42.5204/18/2016$44.915.6% 8.7%-7.4%
ISIL02/22/20162,400$12.3704/22/2016$12.853.8% 8.7%-3.8%
AMAT02/22/20161,600$18.7004/22/2016$20.9411.9% 8.7%-3.3%
KLIC02/22/20162,600$11.4304/22/2016$11.00-3.8% 8.7%-7.7%
TER02/22/20161,500$18.9804/22/2016$20.558.2% 8.7%-3.6%
VMI04/22/2016200$139.2505/03/2016$138.94-0.3% -0.7%-2.2%
TKR04/22/2016800$35.7905/03/2016$35.36-1.3% -0.7%-3.1%
ITW04/22/2016200$104.8005/03/2016$104.54-0.3% -0.7%-1.1%
BAX04/25/2016600$43.3105/02/2016$44.392.4% -1.1%-0.1%
HSIC04/25/2016100$172.0005/02/2016$168.86-1.9% -1.1%-1.3%
JNJ04/25/2016200$113.3105/02/2016$112.22-1.1% -1.1%-1.5%
VMC04/26/2016200$109.5505/02/2016$108.26-1.3% -1.1%-1.2%
MLM04/26/2016100$170.2905/02/2016$170.19-0.2% -1.1%-0.7%
EXP04/26/2016300$75.0005/02/2016$74.32-1.0% -1.1%-1.6%
EDE05/02/2016800$33.6206/20/2016$33.770.4% 0.4%-1.4%
MGEE05/02/2016500$50.0106/20/2016$54.819.5% 0.4%-1.2%
NI05/02/20161,300$22.6906/20/2016$25.2711.3% 0.4%-0.4%
CNP05/02/20161,300$21.4606/20/2016$23.238.2% 0.4%-1.0%
MLM06/07/2016100$186.9908/29/2016$188.690.8% 2.8%-4.7%
EXP06/07/2016300$80.9308/29/2016$83.092.6% 2.8%-12.0%
VMC06/07/2016200$116.3508/29/2016$116.00-0.4% 2.8%-3.6%
SWN06/08/20161,900$15.4406/13/2016$13.10-15.2% -1.0%-12.0%
COG06/08/20161,100$25.7006/13/2016$24.92-3.1% -1.0%-3.6%
EQT06/08/2016300$75.7606/13/2016$75.14-0.9% -1.0%-2.2%
NFG06/14/2016500$55.1407/28/2016$55.420.4% 4.3%-1.8%
STR06/14/20161,100$25.0007/28/2016$25.100.3% 4.3%-0.4%
ATO06/14/2016300$75.8007/28/2016$78.803.9% 4.3%-0.7%
DVN06/14/2016800$35.6007/28/2016$36.211.6% 4.3%-7.8%
CLR07/13/2016600$45.7208/02/2016$42.00-8.2% 0.7%-9.7%
APA07/13/2016500$57.5408/02/2016$50.50-12.3% 0.7%-11.4%
HP07/13/2016400$69.7008/02/2016$61.59-11.7% 0.7%-13.3%
AMD08/15/20164,400$6.7802/14/2017$13.4398.0% 6.4%-16.5%
NVDA08/15/2016400$63.1202/14/2017$107.9971.0% 6.4%-9.2%
CY08/15/20162,700$11.0902/14/2017$12.5012.6% 6.4%-13.2%
EGN08/18/2016500$55.7310/13/2016$57.903.8% -2.4%-8.3%
DVN08/18/2016600$43.6610/13/2016$44.040.8% -2.4%-13.3%
NFX08/18/2016600$46.2910/13/2016$42.82-7.6% -2.4%-15.2%
MS12/05/2016700$42.3004/19/2017$42.310.0% 6.6%-5.3%
GS12/05/2016100$225.5204/19/2017$215.87-4.4% 6.6%-2.1%
RJF12/05/2016400$72.9704/19/2017$73.811.1% 6.6%-5.5%
KLIC03/22/20171,400$20.33Open$21.224.3% 0.5%-6.8%
BRKS03/22/20171,400$21.00Open$27.3430.1% 0.5%-1.8%
TER03/22/2017900$30.00Open$34.6615.5% 0.5%-0.1%


Using completed trades only, a portfolio with a starting value of $1,968,582.00 would be worth $1,984,782.16, a change of 0.8%, with a maximum loss of 50.8%.
Including open trades, the starting value would be $2,053,474.00 and the ending value would be $2,083,929.07, a change of 1.5%, with a maximum loss of 50.8%.
For open trades during 2017, the change is 16.8%.
This report was prepared on May 18, 2017 and it covers the trades shown.


See Also

Written by and copyright © 2005-2019 by Thomas N. Bulkowski. All rights reserved. Disclaimer: You alone are responsible for your investment decisions. See Privacy/Disclaimer for more information. Some pattern names are the registered trademarks of their respective owners. Your momma is so fat that her cereal bowl came with a lifeguard.