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Looking for an edge in your trading this year and perhaps to learn from history? Below is a sample section from the 2014 Almanac which has extensive studies of seasonality trends and anomalies that traders can exploit including:

Quarterly Sector Strategy – the strongest/weakest sectors for each quarter are identified and the Quarterly Sector Strategy continues to beat the market.

FTSE 100/S&P 500 Switching Strategy – the strong/weak months for the FTSE 100 relative to the S&P 500 are identified and a strategy of switching between the two markets is found that produces twice the returns of either market individually.

Low/high Share Price Strategy – a portfolio of the 20 lowest priced shares in the market has outperformed a portfolio of the 20 highest priced shares by an average 49.4 percentage points each year since 2002.

Tuesday Reverses Monday Strategy – since the year 2000 market returns on Tuesdays have been the reverse of those on Monday. A strategy using this effect has significantly outperformed the FTSE 100 over this period.

Market seasonality (day/week/month) – December is still the strongest month in the year for the stock market, while September is the weakest. The greatest change from five years ago has been the fall of January from fourth to ninth in the month rankings. Analysis is also updated for weekly and daily performance of the market (Sinclair Numbers).

Day of the week performance – Wednesday is the new weakest day of the week (Monday used to be), and the strongest days are Tuesday and Thursday.

Market momentum – a reference grid is presented giving the historic tendency of the market to rise (fall) following a series of consecutive daily/weekly/monthly/yearly rises (falls). As before, it is found that trends become more established the longer they last and the market displays greater momentum for longer frequencies.

FTSE 100 quarterly reviews – as before, it is found that share prices tend to rise immediately before a company joins the FTSE 100 and are then flat or fall back. Before a company leaves the index share prices tend to fall and then rise after the exit.

FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 – the trend continues for the FTSE 100 to greatly underperform the mid-cap index in January and February and outperform it in September and October.

Small Cap Stocks in January – on average small cap stocks significantly outperform large cap stocks in January and underperform in October.

Turn of the month – the market tends to be weak a few days either side of the turn of the month, but abnormally strong on the first trading of the new month (except December).

First/last trading day of the month – the first trading days of April and July are found to be unusually strong, while that of December is weak. The last trading of October is found to be the year’s strongest, and the weakest are those for February and November.

Holidays and the market – in the last ten years the market has been significantly strong on the days immediately before and after holidays and weak four days before and three days after holidays.

Triple witching – the three days around triple witching have higher volatility than other days and the FTSE 100 return on triple witching days is abnormally strong.

Volatility – studies have been updated for the analysis of intra-day volatility and the performance of the market following very large one-day moves.

UK and US markets – the correlation between the UK and US markets has been increasing since the 1950s and in the years since 2010 has been stronger than ever.

The Long-Term Formula – the formula that describes the long-term trend of the stock market and gives a forecast for the FTSE 100 in December 2063.

Ultimate death cross – the last edition of the Almanac left readers on a cliffhanger as the market was about to form an ultimate death cross – find out what happened next!

Six-month effect

The extraordinary six-month effect (also called the Sell in May effect in the UK and the Halloween effect in the US) remains as strong as ever. Since 1982 the market in the winter months has outperformed the market in the summer months by an average 9% annually! The six-month strategy is therefore still performing well – beating the market (inc. dividends) by 40% since 1994.

In the previous edition of the Almanac a method was presented to improve the returns on the six-month strategy by using the MACD indicator. In this edition we look at another simple way of enhancing returns, by recognising that October is now a strong month and therefore switching to a 5/7-month strategy

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