Whiplash. We went from a pretty bad month to end a pretty bad year to what was simply an amazing January: two portfolios were up +11%, two more +9%, and even the worst was up 5%. Leverage-heavy RPC Growth the best performer; super diversified RPC Stability still first overall.
It would have been totally understandable if investors had cashed out at the end of December, but months like this are why the best advice is to resist that urge. Sometimes we get months like this, which makes us investors forget about all the slings and arrows we suffered along the way. Are there more months like this to come? Or will it reverse, as it did just a few months ago when a strong November gave way to December’s lead balloon? Only time will tell, so just hang on.
At the asset level, just about everything did well. Equities were great, and so the leveraged versions were triple great: TNA was up 36% based on great performance for small-caps and DRN up almost 33%, while in the non-leveraged division, VIOV rose 13.8%. Bonds were also great - VGLT up 8%, EDV up 12.2%, and TMF up 26.5%. Only three assets were down for the month: PDBC, VPU and DBMF, which finished worst at -2.9%. I would categorize this as a good loss, though. You want diversification? That’s what it looks like, and the quick changing trends of the past three months is a recipe for struggles with trend-following.
And, of course, I’m not going to skip over the elephant in the room, the one dancing in ballet shoes, wearing a Carmen Miranda hat, playing the trombone, and juggling the flaming chainsaws: the Greyscale Digital Currency ETF, GDLC, was up 61.6%. Yes, you read that right, and no, don’t get excited.
For portfolios, generally the more leveraged the better. The RPC Growth was up 11.8% and the Levered Seasons rose 11.5%. In the case of the RPC Growth, it was eye-opening to see what that means in actual dollar terms: the portfolio gained $77,000 in just a month! The position in crypto was part of the reason behind its success, and incidentally, was up so much that it triggered a rebalancing event. I pulled $4,500 out of GDLC and put it towards commodities and managed futures. The worst portfolio of the eleven was the Classic 60/40, but that was still up 5%. Nothing to sneeze at, for sure.
Overall, the RPC Stability is still in first, with the Golden Butterfly not that far behind. At the other end, the highly leveraged aggressive portfolios remain quite a bit behind, though there is some closing speed gathering. Looking at the big picture, the Risk Parity portfolios are doing alright, but the traditional portfolios are, as well, so no advantage gained. The 100% Equity portfolio is third, the 60/40 is fourth, and the 80/20 is fifth.
Finally, while it was nice to see the jump, I can’t also wonder if that means the sale on assets that’s been going on for the past 14 months is also coming to an end. While it’s nice to see these portfolios designed for decumulation perform well, in real life, I’m in the accumulation stage and was thinking I might get a few more chances to pick up some assets at a discount. Again - only time will tell, so just hang on.