Building of Long and Short Portfolios through GeWorko Method

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Financial company IFC Markets and NetTradeX are glad to announce the release of a joint product called GeWorko method, which makes it possible to construct and analyze multiple variations of investment portfolios, implementing a wide variety of investment strategies. Due to its flexibility and universality, the GeWorko method significantly expands traders' opportunities, allowing them to create their own unique investment products.

The global financial crisis of 2008 affected all economic sectors without exception, and its consequences are being felt still nowadays. Nevertheless, the extent of its impact on companies’ performance was different. GeWorko portfolio trading method, which only recently became available to wider audiences, will help not only clearly demonstrate the divergence in impacts, but also get an example of an investment strategy based on differences in the long-term reaction of stock values on the same systemic factor.

22 stocks of major liquid companies were selected from different economic sectors of the USA to demonstrate an example of a strategy and have no intention of providing any investment recommendation. Further analysis is based on monthly close prices recorded over the past 4 years (50 months). Using the approaches of modern portfolio theory and the method of portfolio analysis, GeWorko attempts to find a successful long-term investment strategy based on a portfolio, including both purchases and sales of assets.

Maximization of return was chosen as an optimality criterion of the investment strategy, subject to the portfolio’s risk, and does not exceed the average risk level of its components. In other words, the standard deviation of portfolio’s returns should not exceed the average standard deviations of the 22 stocks (equal to 6.40%). Optimization of the portfolio’s structure has divided the assets into two lists. In the left side of Table 1, the assets for purchase are listed having positive weights in the portfolio (longs), and in the right side the assets with negative weights (shorts) are specified and assumed to be sold according to the strategy.

To demonstrate the difference between the two structural elements of the strategy, the lists of longs and shorts, charts of the absolute value of each of them, were constructed with the help of the GeWorko method. Chart 1 illustrates performance of the portfolio consisting only of the assets from the list of longs. This portfolio experienced a significant fall in 2008, but since the beginning of January 2009 its value increased by 2.5 times.

Chart 2 similarly reflects the absolute total value of the assets from the list of shorts, and although the strategy involves the sale of these assets, for comparison purposes a hypothetical purchase of such a portfolio is presented here. It is obvious that the assets that got negative weights in the optimization have significantly under-performed the portfolio of longs, as evidenced by a three-fold reduction in their total value in 2008 and the following modest growth.

But what happens when the two portfolios are combined in the framework of a single investment strategy? In the new combined portfolio, both longs and shorts with the corresponding weights obtained during optimization are included. In other words, the purchase of the portfolio of longs takes place simultaneously with the sale of the portfolio of shorts. Chart 3 is obtained with the help of the GeWorko method to assess the effectiveness of the strategy.

It is clear that the growing structure of the combined portfolio has avoided any significant fall in 2008 and showed a substantially continuous, smooth and steady growth in the post-crisis period. This means that the increase in value of the portfolio of longs in recent years has been systematically exceeding the growth of the portfolio of shorts. The realized monthly return of this strategy amounted to 7.52% and due to the inclusion of short positions was much higher than individual realized return of any of the 22 assets which not exceeded 3.32%.

The GeWorko method revealed differences in the performance of two sets of assets and implemented this idea in the form of a trading strategy. Thanks to the combination of long and short positions, the strategy has been remaining profitable for several years. Potential gain from diversification can be significantly increased by adding various classes of assets in the portfolio. It is even difficult to imagine what opportunities for multi-profile analysis of markets and trading with the GeWorko method can arise in this case.

All charts are available on this link:

About IFC Markets:
IFC Markets is a brokerage company providing Forex (Foreign Exchange Market) and CFD (contracts for difference) trading and associated services for both individual and corporate clients.

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Anton Rumyantsev

Arto Kardashian
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