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S&P 500 Bull/Bear (1 ETF) Strategy



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Not yet a subscriber and not sure quantitative ETF investing is right for you?  Good news: We are offering a limited number of investors the opportunity to get this sample strategy at No Cost. Sign up for our S&P 500 Conservative Strategy for an extended period without charge. All you need to do is register! No credit card is required, and you will receive all the same subscription benefits received by paid subscribers to our premium, high-performance strategies for twelve weeks.

There is no credit card required – you just need to provide your name and contact information so we can send you the strategy update notices each week. At the one-month and three-month interval, we ask that you respond to a survey about your experience and satisfaction with the strategy and the ancillary ETFOptimize products that are provided to all subscribers. If you would like to take advantage of this complementary offer, please sign up today - while there is still availablility! To get started with your complimentary twelve-week subscription, select the S&P 500-Conservative Strategy listed at the top of the product list on the subscribe form and complete your registration.

Note: If you sign up for a premium (high-performance) strategy, you will no longer be able to access the S&P 500 Conservative Strategy. But keep in mind that the free subscription includes regular marketing information that you probably don't want to receive if you are already a strategy subscriber. Plus, all of our the paid strategies produce a minimum of double the return of the S&P 500 Conservative Strategy, and most investors prefer to make their money work twice as hard!

We are making this sophisticated investment model available to a limited number of subscribers – at NO COST; $0! This offer serves as a trial for both you and our company. For us, it provides an opportunity to see if this is a viable way to introduce investors to the ETFOptimize products. For you, it is a way to find out if quantitative ETF investing is right for you. A win-win proposition for both of us!

The S&P 500 Conservative Strategy is a sophisticated, quantitative ETF investment strategy just like our higher-performance, Premium (paid) Strategies. The only difference is that this strategy has been de-tuned by 1) removing all leveraged and inverse ETF components, and 2) modifying the selection algorithms to make its decisions lean towards conservatism. The strategy is limited to just two positions: SPY (the SPDR S&P 500 ETF) and SHY (the iShares 1-3 Year Treasury Bond ETF). Designed for those investors who eschew leveraged ETF's, the strategy provides a very-smooth performance curve beginning at inception in July 2000. Plus, the strategy still produces a return that is more than TRIPLE the return of the S&P 500 benchmark over the same 18+ year time period.

Each weekend, subscribers will receive complete strategy details, including new updates to the positions, comprehensive news and statistics for the Current Positions, transaction documentation, Closed Position performance documentation, and extensive performance data with charts, all updated each weekend.

You can get INSTANT ACCESS to the S&P 500 CONSERVATIVE STRATEGY by CLICKING THIS LINK or any of the boxed, blue links throughout the page below, entering your contact information in the form, and GO STRAIGHT to the S&P 500 Conservative Premium Strategy Page. No credit card information is required!  Why not put this strategy's consistently climbing performance to work for you today?

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We are currently offering this strategy on a Complimentary Basis to a limited number of subscribers. This is a legitimately complimentary offer – no credit card is needed or requested to start your free subscription.

If you have any questions about this – or any of our other strategies, please contact us for prompt assistance.

*For all descriptions and statistics on this page, remember that past performance is not necessarily indicative of future returns.
Please consult a Certified Investment Advisor or  professional Financial Counselor if you need personalized assistance with your investment.




The information on this page was most recently updated on:

Sunday, December 9, 2018

(Strategies are updated each weekend by Sunday afternoon.)




S&P 500 Conservative (1 ETF)  Strategy


A smooth, steadily climbing performance chart: As you can see from this chart that runs from the strategy's inception on July 1, 2000 to present, the S&P 500 Conservative Strategy provides a steady and consistent, upward ascent of its equity curve. The S&P 500 Conservative Strategy consistently identifies the market's regime – whether economic conditions are in expansion or contraction – and determines whether the S&P 500-based equity ETF (SPY) or a cash-proxy ETF (SHY) is appropriate for current conditions. This continuous assessment of conditions and adjustment of its position keeps your money growing month after month, and year after year.

 The S&P 500 Conservative Strategy's performance is shown by the red line while its benchmark, the S&P 500 Index ($SPX), is represented by the blue line.

Performance Chart


Performance since InceptionPerformance since Inception - dates

KEY: The blue line shown as the benchmark is a buy-and-hold of the SPDR S&P 500 (large-cap) ETF (SPY).
The red line shows the "S&P 500 Bull/Bear Strategy's" performance since inception. 


This strategy provides the a substantial Sharpe Ratio (a measure of risk-adjusted return) at 1.18 (compared to 0.22 for the S&P 500 benchmark since 2000). Its Sortino Ratio (another measure of risk-adjusted return that compares the return to an investment's downside volatility only) is an high 1.67 (compared to just 0.29 for the S&P 500 benchmark since 2000).

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With a compound annual growth rate of 12.54% since 2000 (compared to 3.87% for the S&P 500 index), this easy-to-use, 1-ETF strategy more than triples (324%) the average annual return of its benchmark (the S&P 500 index) during the same time period.




S&P 500 Conservative (1 ETF)  Strategy

Description & Statistics

The S&P CONSERVATIVE: Non-Leveraged S&P 500 (SPY) / CASH - 1 ETF Strategy is designed to rotate, at the optimum time, to either the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) or the Cash-proxy ETF (the iShares 1-3 Yr Treasury Bond ETF, SHY), depending on whether stocks are in a bull market or not. While this strategy does not achieve the exceptionally high gains of our other strategies, it also does not use leveraged ETFs, which is an investment vehicle with which many people aren't comfortable. Still and all, since the market peak in 2000, the S&P 500 Conservative strategy has produced a return that is 7.44-times greater than its benchmark, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY). The strategy has an annualized return of 12.5%, while the S&P 500 has logged return of just 3.8% in the same time period.

We are currently offering this strategy on a Complimentary Basis to a limited number of subscribers. This is a legitimately complimentary offer – no credit card is needed or requested to start your free subscription.

We hope that investors will take advantage of our low-volatility/low-risk, S&P 500-Conservative Strategy to become familiar with ETFOptimize and learn about our other strategies – many of which make practical, cautious use of leveraged ETFs when it is 100% safe and appropriate – then realize that they can obtain exceptionally high returns without incurring additional risk.

In fact, our strategies have some of the highest Risk Adjusted Returns (RAR) available to investors. Of course, RAR is a measure of the performance of an investment compared to the risk it incurs to attain that performance. Risk, in investment terms, is defined as the amount of volatility in an investment, usually measured by standard deviation. The ETFOptimize strategies dramatically reduce downside volatility and entirely eliminate portfolio losses (66 of 66 money-making years, collectively), resulting in extraordinarily high Risk-Adjusted Returns. In fact, our Premium Strategy lineup has an average Sharpe Ratio of 2.00 and an average Sortino Ratio of 2.86!

The S&P 500-Conservative Strategy is your chance to become familiar with this New world of high-return, low-risk, quantitative-ETF investment strategies provided by!

S&P 500 Conservative (No-Leverage) Strategy

Inception: July 1, 2000
Rebalance Frequency: Weekly
Average Position Hold Time: 93.65 market sessions (about 4.68 months)
Nearest  Benchmark: S&P 500 Index ($SPX)

Annualized Return (since inception):  12.55%
Last Year's (2017) Return:  20.78%
1 Year Return:   10.09%
3 Year Return:  39.33%
Total Return since Inception: 776.51%
Benchmark Return
since Inception:  90.23%
Years Outperforming Benchmark:  13 of 18 (72%)
Years Profitable:  18 of 18
Financial Crisis & Recovery Return:  117.56% (see "Financial Crisis Performance' below)

Percentage of Winning Trades:  64.41%
Biggest Winner, Biggest Loser:  34.71%,  -5.39%
Winning Trades Held for (avg):  144.19 Days
Losing Trades Held for (avg):  31.62 Days
*Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future returns.

Number of Money-Losing Years (18 of 18):  ZERO
(Note on outperformance: Since this strategy holds the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) as its most bullish position,
it has more difficultly outperforming the S&P 500 benchmark than our other strategies.)

Strategy's Average Annual Max Drawdown (AAMDD):  -7.03%**
Last Year's (2017) Max Drawdown:  -2.60%
Benchmark (S&P 500) Max Drawdown (since inception):  -55.19% (in 2008-2009)
Standard Deviation: 7.79%

RISK-ADJUSTED RETURN (Higher is better)
Sharpe Ratio - Since Inception: 1.18  (Compare to S&P 500 ETF Benchmark at 0.22)
Sharpe Ratio - Last 3 Yrs: 1.55  (Compare to S&P 500 ETF Benchmark at 1.25)
Sortino Ratio - Since Inception: 1.67
  (Compare to S&P 500 Benchmark at 0.29)
Sortino Ratio - Last 3 Yrs: 2.35 (Compare to Benchmark at 1.85)

(Our abbreviated designation for this strategy is: "SP500-CSRV")
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*Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future returns. **Average Annual Max Drawdown (AAMDD) is the average of the deepest peak-to-trough drawdown each year since inception, which we believe provides the best representation of the worst declines you might experience as a subscriber.

S&P 500 Bull/Bear (1 ETF)  Strategy

Making Sure Market Losses Don't Destroy Your Life Savings

Outperformance is nothing if it isn't accompanied by downside protection when the market begins to slide. After all, who wants an aggressive investment approach that produces an excellent performance when stocks are rising – but loses it all (and perhaps more) when conditions turn negative? (There are already far too many investment approaches that match this noxious description.) 

This S&P 500-based quantitative investment strategy will provide you with protection from long-term loss whenever the risk of a significant market decline occurs. The S&P 500-Conservative Strategy has never lost money during any year since inception, and has consistently produced a substantial return, year after year.


This strategy is programmed to automatically switch to the iShares 1-3 Year Treasury Bond ETF (SHY) when conditions become challenging. The strategy's performance algorithms consistently analyzes well-established drivers of investment returns and rotates to the S&P 500-basedETF (SPY) when conditions are bullish. When conditions turn negative, as occurs during economic contractions, this strategy is programmed to rotate to the iShares 1-3 year Treasury Bond ETF (SHY), thereby eliminating any risk there might be of incurring a substantial loss. This approach has provided exceptionally high profits during significant market declines, such during as the Financial Crisis in 2008-2009. (Please see the next section showing the Financial Crisis for details.)


Then, when economic and market conditions begin to recover coming out of a recession, the S&P 500-CSRV Strategy rotates to the S&P 500 SPDR (SPY) ETF. Always prepared to rotate into the Treasury ETF selection, strategy produces a excellent performance with infinitesimally small risk of losing money in any given year (as long as you stick with the strategy).* However, that risk does not go away entirely, and no matter how small, you should be aware that you can always lose money when investing in equities.

In addition to a high Risk-Adjusted Return (1.57, compared to the S&P 500 index at 0.22), which indicates an approach that produces high returns with minimal drawdowns, many investors are pleasantly surprised to learn that many of our strategies produce robust, positive performance even when stocks are declining. For specific details, see the analysis of Financial Crisis performance that we provide on the Profile page for each of our strategies. Since 1998, many thousands of our strategy subscribers have enjoyed the long-term, outstanding annual returns and minimal drawdowns that are available with emotion-free, quantitative investment strategies.

In the next section, you'll see how this strategy switched to cash just before the Financial Crisis downturn – losing no principal at all – while many investors lost more than half of their life's savings. When the recovery got underway, the S&P 500-BB Strategy entered an incredibly profitable stretch in which it appreciated 280% while investors in other investments were struggling to reach breakeven for full years, gaining 0% in all that time – virtually dead money for 55 long months.

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S&P 500 Bull/Bear (1 ETF)  Strategy

Financial Crisis Performance

To demonstrate how this strategy protects you from severe market losses and achieves strong performance, the best example we can provide is the 2007-2009 Financial Crisis. The S&P 500 Index, which consists of 500 of America's premier companies, began plummeting in late 2007, continued throughout all of 2008, and into the first quarter of 2009, losing -55% of its value by the time it had bottomon March 9, 2009. Meanwhile, the ETFOptimize S&P 500-Conservative Strategy switched to the cash-proxy ETF (SHY) position just before the downturn began, and as stocks declined through the bottom in March 2009 the strategy made a little bit of money. By the end of the nightmare, in 2013, this strategy outperformed the market by more than double!

We show the story in two charts:

The Left Chart below presents the 2007 High to Financial Crisis Bottom.  These developments began at the December 10, 2007 high just before the downturn, until the lowest point at the Financial Crisis trough on March 9, 2009.  You can see that our S&P 500- Conservative Strategy moved along steadily and calmly, holding a smooth, slight upward climb the entire time the market was plummetting – not dipping for minute at any time during the worst 18 months of the crisis – and providing an outperformance of 61.54% (6.16% + 55.37%).

The Right Chart below shows the entirety of the tempestuous tale – from the Beginning of the Financial Crisis through its Recovery – and demonstrates the exemplary way that our S&P 500 Conservative strategy performed during these extreme conditions.

The entire Crisis, from beginning to end, required 4.5 long years for the S&P 500 index to first decline -55%, then slowly recover all that it lost. The SP500-CSRV Strategy more than doubled investors funds during the crisis, and while a buy-and-hold investor in America's premier companies (represented by the S&P 500 index) loss of more than half of their assets in 18 months and required another four years to recover that loss (shown by the chart on the right).


Strategy performance vs. S&P 500 at Crisis Bottom


Strategy performance vs. S&P 500 from Crisis Beginning until Recovery of Losses

2007 High to Financial Crisis Bottom – From the December 2007 pre-Financial Crisis high to its low on March 9, 2009, this strategy's benchmark, the S&P 500 index, lost -55%. During the same period, our S&P 500 Conservative Strategy switched to a Cash-proxy ETF (SHY) from its long position – just before the start of the downturn. After this strategy correctly anticipated the worst market selloff since the Great Depression, subscribers sat anxiety-free in  the 1-3 Year Treasury Bond ETF (SHY), watching the crisis unfold without worrying about losing more than half of their life savings and stressing about their financial security.


Financial Crisis & Recovery – This strategy's benchmark, the S&P 500 index, descended from its December 2007 high (just before the Financial Crisis) through its low on March 9, 2009 – losing -55%. Then, as shown in the chart above, stocks began to gain ground and over a total of 62.5 months (until March 1, 2013), it finally recovered that enormous loss. During all that time, investors in the S&P 500 had 'dead money,' and struggled to breakeven for 5+ long years, while our S&P 500 Conservative Strategy produced a total return of 117% – or 16.04% annualized.



Eliminating significant market declines – and the recovery time required – is one of several ways the ETFOptimize strategies produce considerable outperformance. When the sophisticated Ranking and timing system detects a downturn is imminent, this strategy rotates to the iShares 1-3 Year Treasury Bond ETF (SHY). During bull rallies, this strategy will hold the S&P 500-based ETF (SPY).

Our S&P 500 Conservative Strategy consistently generates accurate signals to rotate to the appropriate ETF, thereby producing a very steady equity curve and eliminating undue stress. This strategy does not use leverage positions, but since the high in 2000, has still produced a total return that is 7.35 times greater – and an annualized return that is 3.3 times greater than the S&P 500.
We are currently offering a limited number of complimentary subscriptions to the S&P 500 Conservative Strategy!
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S&P 500 Bull/Bear (1 ETF)  Strategy

Year-by-Year Performance Detail

As millions of investors and their advisors become concerned about changing economic indicators or the latest threatening headline, not knowing what the future holds, subscribers to the S&P 500 Conservative Strategy can sit back and just ignore all that noise. The S&P 500-Conservative Strategy assesses as many as 28 different data sets each weekend and determines the optimum ETF to own for any type of economic and market condition that can affect stocks, bonds, and alternatives.

Our S&P 500 Conservative (Non-leveraged) Strategy has provided subscribers with profits every single year since inception, regardless of the performance of the economy or the stock market. This may be the most impressive benefit of all for those who lived through the Financial Crisis of 2008-2009 and lost a substantial amount of money (or felt the intense stress of a potential loss): i.e., the S&P 500-BB Strategy has never experienced a money-losing year!  Furthermore, the strategy has outperformed its benchmark every single year since inception).

The tables and chart below provide both a numeric and a graphic presentation of the annual performance of the S&P 500-CSRV Strategy since its inception in July 2006.

The 'Performance by Calendar Year' table below shows the following data...

• This Model's annual performance on the top line,
• The Benchmark's performance on the middle line, and the
• The 'Excess' performance or outperformance of the S&P 500-CSRV Strategy over its Benchmark on the bottom line:

 Performance by Calendar Year

From the top line, you can see that every year is shown 'in the black,' meaning that the S&P 500-CSRV Strategy provided healthy, positive annual returns in each calendar year since its inception in mid-2000, with an average annual return of about 12% – during a time when the S&P 500 averaged a gain of just 3.87%.

Also notice that in 2000, 2001, and 2002 this strategy produced positive returns at a time when the S&P 500 was losing a significant amount of money – i.e., during the dot-com bust – which saw the overall market dropped by -50%, and the technology-rich NASDAQ index drop by substantially more.

The 'Yearly Returns' bar chart below shows a graphical interpretation of the data above. Notice from the strategy's performance bars (in red) that it has been profitable every year (indicated by all red bars being above 0%), and in many years, the strategy (red bars) outperformed its benchmark (indicated by red bars being above the blue bars), which is harder than normal to do because the benchmark and the strategy's asset are the same (S&P 500). Keep in mind that our premium strategies produce far higher returns by using more aggressive ETF assets when conditions are robustly bullish.

2018 is turning out to be a difficult year for stocks, yet the S&P 500-CSRV strategy has provided a return of 9.65% – which is 11% more than the S&P 500's return of 8.65% to this point (Sept. 16, 2018).

 Yearly Performance Bar Chart
The S&P 500 Bull/Bear (1 ETF) Strategy's annual performance is shown by red bars and its benchmark return is shown by blue bars.


Keep in mind that is difficult for this strategy to move ahead of its benchmark (SPY) because is using that same asset (SPY) in the portfolio. For far greater performance please consider one of our other, high-performance, premium investment strategies!


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S&P 500 Bull/Bear (1 ETF)  Strategy

Risk Measurements

One of the most important criteria for selecting any investment approach is its 'Risk-Adjusted Return,' which is usually assessed by the Sharpe Ratio or the Sortino Ratio measures. These two metrics show the ratio of an investment's performance to its volatility (which is called its 'risk' in the investment world). Notice in the table below the dramatic outperformance of this strategy when those two ratios are compared to the strategy's benchmark - a buy-and-hold approach with the widely used 70-30 weighted S&P 500 /Total Bond (SPY/BND) ETF combo.

Since the inception of this strategy in 2006, the Sharpe Ratio (or "risk-adjusted return") of the SPY benchmark is 0.60compared to a ratio of 1.45 for the S&P 500-BB strategy. For perspective, most “good” investments produce long-term annualized Sharpe ratios that fall between 0.5 and 1.0, and the S&P 500's long-term Sharpe ratio is about 0.40. Even more impressive is the S&P 500-BB Strategy's Sortino ratio (which measures the return against downside volatility only), which is 2.18 since inception, compared to the SPY benchmark's Sortino ratio of just 0.77. In the last 3 years, the S&P 500-BB strategy's risk-adjusted return ratios are even higher at 2.00 and 2.77, respectively.

Risk Measurements


You can also see from the last entry at the bottom of the table showing Alpha % that this strategy outperforms its market benchmark by an average of nearly 10% per year. Compare this to Warren Buffett (with a net worth of more than $80 billion and one of the wealthiest men on the planet, is considered to be the world's most successful investor of all time), who has attained a long-term Alpha of 9.86%. So you'll legitimately be able to say you are matching Warren Buffett for as long as you stick with this strategy!

*Note: All figures quoted above are based on their status at the time this section was written. While the numbers will change slightly week to week, the overall thrust of the text remains accurate – this strategy has a very high absolute performance very high risk-adjusted-return.


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S&P 500 Bull/Bear (1 ETF)  Strategy


The S&P 500-Conservative Strategy uses a binary decision system that selects one of the following ETFs, depending on whether conditions are bullish or sideways/bearish:

SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) - the first ETF ever created in the US (1993), SPY is a non-leveraged ETF that tracks the S&P 500 index and is the most widely traded ETF in the world, by both volume and assets under management (AUM). Our S&P 500 Conservative Strategy uses SPY during bullish conditions.
iShares 1-3 Year Treasury Bond ETF (SHY) - this ETF is used as a proxy for cash during sideways or unpredictable market/economic conditions.

Read more about the detailed stats of the ETFs in this strategy in this 2-ETF S&P 500 Conservative Universe PDF.

Note: Because they are so widely traded, the ETFs in this strategy can accomodate virtually any size of investment with exceptionally quick fills within moments.

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S&P 500 Bull/Bear

Your Subscription Includes...

You get all the following features with your S&P-CONSERVATIVE Strategy:

1)  Strategy Updates  –  Every Sunday evening (by 7PM EST) each Strategy Status Page will be completely revised with your model's freshly updated documentation, including complete Performance Details and Statistics for both current holdings and the overall strategy. This ensures you have the latest performance information to keep you abreast of the profits you're accumulating toward achieving your financial goals – and much more....

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2)  Trade Notice Details  –  When your model schedules a new transaction for the following business day (usually Monday), you will receive a Strategy Trade Notice by email that will include the complete details of that trade, with everything you need to know about the ETFs that are involved, including links to the ETF's history, statistics, and news – if you wish to review that information (optional). Across our strategies, the average hold time is 3.83 months, with a range from 2.01 months to 6.54 months, depending on the strategy.

3)  Performance Update  –  Each week's Strategy Update Summary email includes an update of your strategy's return for the last week, last month, and last year as well as the same information for your strategy's benchmark (or for the S&P 500, whichever is closer in performance to your strategy). This allows you to assess how much you are outperforming the market at each of these points of measurement.

4) Optimized Market Outlook  –  Each Sunday your Strategy Update Summary includes a fact-filled "Market Outlook" section, which summarizes the current status of economic data and related investment market developments. You will gain insights into little-known factors affecting the market, so you know what to expect in the days and weeks ahead.

5)  Premier Access: Optimized Insights™  –  You get first access to our award-winning Optimized Insights™ data-driven market reports as soon as they are released – well ahead of the public and media outlets that cover us. Since 1998, thousands of individual investors and advisors have come to depend on the premium quantitative assessment in our Optimized Insights™ market reports, but you'll get that information several days before non-subscribers or media outlets have an opportunity for access.

6)  Premier Access: ETF Investment Strategy Blog When we post a timely, news-worthy, or educational article to our ETF Investment Strategy Blog, you'll get the first available access to that valuable information before it's posted to the site where the public can view it.

7)  Perhaps Most Importantly – You'll get the potentially life-changing benefit of reliable and exceptional performance with zero chance of long-term loss of your capital.* An average Sharpe ratio of 1.50 and an average Sortino Ratio of 2.21 consistently give our strategies the highest risk-adjusted return of any mutual fund, professionally managed portfolio, or turnkey investment models of which we are aware.

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8)  For limited time this strategy is 100% FREE  –  and each of our other strategy subscriptions are backed by a 60-day, 100% No-Risk Guarantee. We guarantee that you'll be thrilled with the results you get, or just let us know within the first 60 days and we'll promptly refund every penny that you paid. No questions asked!   (See the next section for further details on this airtight guarantee...) This is your iron-clad assurance that you can try the ETFOptimize investment strategies and discover just how well they perform – without risk!

S&P 500 Bull/Bear


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