ETF Timer performance

It appears to me that a well chosen trailing stop would be useful for this system. I have no idea if using it would have avoided the "disaster" trade near the end of 2008 (followed immediately by a great rescue trade and then some), Looking at recent June performance I have to ask why we could not have taken profits in the upper 40s rather than riding it down to the lower 40s. The market has been dangerously sideways/toppy and hesitant, and drifting lower, not unsimilar to the behavior at the end of 2008.

This timing system exhibits a certain stubborn quality and perhaps could be more agile. On the other hand, the track record speaks for itself, so my comment is offered with uncertainty and I would like to invite comments from others. [LINKSYSTEM_30415311]

My reference to the upper and lower 40s reflects the fact that I have used TNA/TZA as a substitute for QLD/QID. Sorry I forgot to note that.


I think that when you subscribe to a system, you should follow it as-is, or not at all.

If you find yourself second guessing signals, developing your own improvements, etc, then I’d conclude that the system is not for you. And trying to trade a system you don’t agree with will end badly for you - regardless of how well the system itself does.


This system is far and away the best system on C2. It wouldn’t surprise me if hedge funds subscribed to it, and likely have tried to re-engineer it. It is that good.

75% annual return, 27% max drawdown (that lasted less than one month), 4 losing months out of 30…

Why do you think it needs improvement?


As an ETF Timer subscriber, I certainly sympathize. I had a nice little unrealized gain of $5,000 early Monday morning and watched it get frittered away to less than $2,000 by noon today. Hard to take by any measure, and only my confidence in the vendor has made me stay the course. I completely agree with everything Kevin Davey said – if Jim (ETF Timer vendor) had believed that a trailing stop would improve his system, he would have implemented it a long time ago.

I recommend that you stick to Jim’s system description and stop playing the TZA/TNA pair as a substitute for QLD/QID. You are going to experience a lot more volatility/emotional swings with a 3X leveraged ETF, and the TZA/TNA is indexed to the Russell 2000 anyway. Whatever combination of indicators Jim uses to play his strategy, I’m sure he has a good reason to track the Nasdaq 100 instead of the broader market. For example, last May 20 the QLD lost 7% while the TNA you are playing lost 15%. Yesterday, the TNA lost 3 times what the QLD lost. So give yourself a break, switch into the QLD/QID, place your full trust in this vendor, and sleep better at night.

Kevin (and Mark, also),

I thank you both for your feedback. Tinkerers often mess with a system, distort its performance, and then discard it. I agree in principle with all of the comments. Some of us have a hard time following a system and need more trust and humility when faced with a proven track record. I will try to take these comments to heart and apply them. My anxiety is prompted by my intention to stop trading on my own and to automate my portfolio.

I hope this provider will be around a good long time.

Warren -

I hope my comments help. I read a lot of Van Tharp’s work, and what turned things around for me was his course “Finding a Trading System That Fits You.” It is really true - you must be in sync, and in total agreement with, whatever system you are trading.

I wish you much success.

Kevin Davey

Absolutely right. And that is often how people move from trading others systems to developing their own, it’s a journey well worth taking and will tell you a lot about yourself. I have also done the same Tharp course and highly recommend it.