Evaluating the Value of Stop-Losses & Gains in Enhancing Risk-Adjusted Returns

Interesting paper here on stop-losses and stop-gains in portfolio strategies.  Worth a read (via Abnormal Returns):

“Asset allocation strategies which utilize stop-loss and stop-gain rules may dramatically decrease risk and even increase long-term return relative to passive investing. I introduce an asset-allocation strategy which shifts portfolio weights based on simplistic stop rules. The two-asset (S&P mutual fund and bond mutual fund) strategy tested from 1990-2012 produces an annual geometric return of 8.45% vs. 7.50% for the underlying S&P 500 Index fund, with roughly 50% less volatility (9.45% annualized standard deviation of return vs. 18.76% for the S&P index fund). The strategy’s strong results are robust to changes in the user-specified parameters, such as the level and number of stop placements. Hence, further development and refinement of asset allocation and trading strategies which incorporate stop-loss and stop-gain rules may be a valuable area of future research.”

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Cullen Roche

Cullen Roche

Mr. Roche is the Founder of Orcam Financial Group, LLC. Orcam is a financial services firm offering research, private advisory, institutional consulting and educational services. He is also the author of Pragmatic Capitalism: What Every Investor Needs to Understand About Money and Finance and Understanding the Modern Monetary System.

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