WisdomTree Discusses Managed Futures

In studying investment strategies, make sure you're actually studying the right thing.

In a few posts I've mentioned the WisdomTree Managed Futures ETF (WTMF). I used the strategy via a different fund during the last bear market and was generally happy with the performance. Typically, managed futures will go long asset classes showing favorable trends, often based on ten month trends, and will short asset classes showing unfavorable trends. The funds all seem to include currencies, fixed income and many commodities. Some included equities and some do not and some won't trade WTI/Brent or will only go long crude, when the trend is unfavorable they would simply not take a position.

WisdomTree had a blog post talking about the strategy broadly in support of WTMF. A key highlight was pointing out that in the recent correction, WTMF outperformed its peers.

It attributed the outperformance to not using equities as part of its strategy. The market turned quickly from a strong uptrend in equities and so it makes sense that a version of managed futures without equity exposure would outperform. WTMF could turn out to be a better mousetrap but a week and half long panic is probably not a good microcosm for something that allocates based multi-month trends. WTMF rebalances monthly but it is still built on longer term trends.

Additionally, the where the context is downside protection from an actual bear market, not a panic that is likely to be forgotten about, I might want my managed futures product to be short the thing, equities, that might cut in half. Bear markets start slowly over many months with a slow deterioration that might closely coincide with a ten month moving average (that's pretty close to a 200 day moving average).

To be clear, the next time a true bear market comes along there is no guarantee that managed futures will be an effective hedge but I am favorably disposed and will post if I actually use the strategy or not when the next bear comes.

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