Following Up on Hedging Strategies
The results are informative, and I want to review them and share some other observations about the portfolios. I am also going to rebalance and continue testing this approach.
The portfolio of stocks at new lows didn't work that well. Overall, the mix had a two-month return of -1.76%. As the market rose 10%, the long positions gained just 6.59%. Although 16 of the 20 stocks went higher, the four losers averaged more than 11%, with GameStop(GME) and Lexmark(LXK) leading the way on the downside. I am going to keep tracking this one to see how it performs when we finally have a down cycle in the market. For this long-biased portfolio, the short-term results are disappointing. If you were leaning short two months ago, as many were, this approach saved you a ton of cash.
The portfolio of stocks trading below stated book value did well in the rally. Overall, the fully hedged portfolio gained 4.53%. Nine of the 11 stocks went higher for an unhedged gain of 19%. Unfortunately, since we used stated and not tangible book value, Alpha Natural Resources (ANR) was in the mix, and those shares declined more than 34%. Stocks such as First Solar(FSLR) , Phillips 66(PSX) and NRG Energy(NRG) led the way higher with huge gains in the two-month period. If you were long-biased but nervous, this approach has worked OK for you so far.
The stars so far are stocks that were the largest 52-week losers. This was a portfolio that was long stocks that were down more than 50% in the last year, hedged dollar for dollar with a short index position. The portfolio gained 6.28% over the two-month period. The unhedged portfolio of losers would have shown a gain of 22.67%.