Sample Newsletter

Holding Feet to the Fire


Posted on July 1, 2017


OVERVIEW:  At 2013’s year-end, completed a 12-year study of the record of 68 market forecasting “gurus”. They analyzed 6,582 graded forecasts and determined that the “winner” had a 68% correct record during that time frame. I felt there were errors in those ratings, one being in the case of the “winner” where the observed period was only 18 months, whereas “yours truly” was monitored for over 10 years. Another shortcoming was exemplified in this quote: “When an expert issues forecasts monthly, as does Jack, we tend to focus on the behavior of the market over the next month as the most important measure of the value of the forecast”.  As our Subscribers know, our focus has never been on just the next month. Nonetheless, despite the flawed methodology, our record came in tied for second with a 66% correct percentage. Only 6 of the 68 had an accuracy above 60%. The terminal forecast accuracy for the group was 46.9%, less than the flip of a coin!  As a consequence, CXO wrote “The final Guru Grades report will remain available indefinitely as a caution to investors on: (1) the (un)predictability of complex systems such as financial markets; and, (2) the risk or relying on grades self-assigned by students of financial markets.

In March 2017, a paper entitled “Evaluation and Ranking of Market Forecasters”, by Professors David Bailey, Jonathan Borwein, and Amir Salehipour with Marcos Lopez de Prado re-evaluated and re-ranked the market forecasters covered in Guru Grades after weighting each forecast by horizon and specificity. This much-improved methodology resulted in lifting our (Jack Schannep, correct percentage to 72.51% with only one higher (not the previous “winner”). There were only 4 of us with accuracy over 70% while 45 of the 68 (two-thirds) had accuracies below 50%, including many well-known prognosticators. The authors conclude that “some forecasters have done very well, even more so than reflected in earlier studies, but the majority perform at levels not significantly different than chance, which makes it difficult to tell if there is any skill present.”

We hope you find this academic, third-party analysis of stock market letter writers and other market “gurus” of interest, and confirmation that your Subscription to our Market Letter is worthy of your confidence and hard-earned money.  Thank you for being a Subscriber – know anyone else who should be?  Thanks, Jack and Bart      

At the top of our entry-page on our website we show a free “Sample” Newsletter, currently theFebruary 2017 Letter “To Infinity and Beyond”, in which we showed the convergence that occurred of the “Rule of Seven” targets at the 20,000 level.  The two that converged were the original Target “C” from the Special Report, written at the 15,698 level,which was calculated from the October 2011 low and the newer Target “A” calculated from the February 2016 low.  The calculations for the newer Target “A” shown in the June 2016 Letter, written at the 17,787level, also included the numbers to calculate a newer Target “B” which was mentioned in the Sample Letter as 21,344.  Below are the calculations as to the various targets from this most recent “Rule of Seven” setup, which starts from the end of the 2nd Leg and beginning of the 3rd Leg as shown clearly here from our May 2017 Letter:


The current level of 21,366.08 has reached the Target “B” level of 21,344 as was also suggested by the “Measured Move” shown in our March 2017 Letter.  Now that we have reached that objective, what’s next?

If this 3rd Leg is to continue, as we suspect it will, then Target “C” would be the next objective. As we have written previously, once an objective/target is attained, a consolidation may or may not occurWhen the market then begins to move on, the next target comes into play. FYI, as Arthur Sklarew wrote in his book (shown in our Special Report): “in dynamic markets a fourth objective must be considered.”  We are hesitant to show the calculations for a Target “D” as, so far, this bull market has not really qualified as a dynamic market; but just in case this 3rd Leg does attain that status, the figures from the originalRule of Seven” is calculated at 29,443, and for this recent one, above, as 32,712. We think it is obvious that those levels will one day be attained, but as to whether they will be reached in this cyclical bull market is questionable, welcome but unlikely.  It is possible, even likely, that such levels will be reached before this long-term secular bull market ends, as shown in the February (Sample) Letter.

The DOW THEORY for the 21st Century: This Indicator is GREEN (BUY) since the August 11th, 2016 Buy signal at 18,613.52, but the current operative word is “Divergence”. BTW we’ve kept the Subscriber’s Home Page up-to-date by noting that on June 1st the Dow Industrials joined the S&P500 at new all-time highs thus meeting our criteria for a continuing Bull market, but noted that until the Dow Transports likewise join in at new highs the market is not yet "In the Clear". Since March 1st of this year the Dow Industrials are up over 1% whereas the Dow Transports are still down 0.3%.  Fortunately, that is not an insurmountable shortcoming, since the Transports at today’s level of 9,563.73 are approaching their March 1sthigh of 9,593.95. The following shows the secondary reaction over the last four months, which we are keeping up-to-date on the Subscriber’s Home Page:

The Original Dow Theory: This Indicator is also GREEN (BUY) from its September 7th, 2016 Buy signal at 18,526.14 with the secondary reaction in place until the Transports make newer highs.

Schannep ↑TIMING INDICATOR: This “Old Reliable/Steady as She Goes” indicator has been GREEN (BUY) since the August-October of 2011 Buy signals, with an average entry level of 11,746.50. While momentum has varied during the last nearly 6 years that this Indicator has been in a Buy mode, it is the continually favorable monetary status that has kept it from changing signals.  That condition looks to continue into the foreseeable future.

The COMPOSITE Timing Indicator: This Indicator remains GREEN (BUY) since it is the combination of the Schannep Timing Indicator Buy at 11,746.50 from 2011 and the other half from the Dow Theory for the 21st Century Buy on August 11th at 18,613.52, for an average entry level of 15,180.01.  Unless the divergence occurring in the Dow Theory leads to a change it is unlikely that this Indicator will change anytime soon.

The BOTTOM LINE: It’s been almost 4 years since we showed you the “Big Four Indicators” which are the likely areas of the economy that the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) looks at in determining when recessions start and end.  As you can see there was a dip in Industrial Production starting at the 65-month point after the economic recovery began in July of 2009.  In the recent 5 months, it has been back in an uptrend along with the others of the “Big Four” as we complete 95 months, 8 years this month, of economic expansion.  Obviously, there is no sign that any of these Indicators are topping out at this time, confirming what we have said previously that the economy is in good shape.

Notice that in the real-money portfolio below we have made recent purchases. We do that from time to time as cash builds up from dividends in an effort to keep the three positions in approximately equal size. And yes, this real-money portfolio continues to make newer highs.  We hope yours is doing the same.

Jack & Bart Schannep
Editor and Contributing Editor
for The Schannep team

Historically we have tracked the performance of Jack’s ACTUAL ROTH IRA portfolio, fully following the Composite Timing Indicator’s signals which is currently 100% invested in approximately equal amounts into each of the following Exchange Traded Funds (as shown below):

This format shows the current status of our Portfolio with the most recent purchase dates and price levels of each investment, as well as the progress (or lack thereof). For longer-term results see The Composite Timing Indicator which we use for timing in our Portfolio verses Buy and Hold.  FYI, over the last 63 years Buy & Hold has grown at a 10.6% annual rate whereas The Composite has grown at a 13.4% rate. The problem with showing this real-money Portfolio is that it represents only what I am doing, which could be very different from others. Subscribers use this letter for Market Timing, which could include shorting, going long, even utilizing leveraged investments that could double or triple – in either direction.  These results have been monitored by several independent sources that track our performance such as Hulbert Financial DigestDowTheoryInvestments.comCXO Advisory Group and  

This Letter concentrates on the big picture, the trend of the major stock market indices which usually influences the price direction of most individual stocks.

Bart Schannep is the President of Southwest Investment Advisors, Inc.  This article is co-written as an outside business activity by Bart Schannep as Contributing Editor in conjunction with Jack Schannep. As such, Southwest Investment Advisors, Inc. does not review or approve materials presented herein. The opinions and any recommendations expressed in this Letter are those of the authors and do not reflect the opinions or recommendations of Southwest Investment Advisors, Inc. nor its broker/dealer and separate and unrelated company, National Planning Corporation (NPC).

The Dow Theory is a form of technical analysis that relies on detecting trends in the stock market to determine an investment strategy. The detection of these trends may be interpreted differently by different analysts and the opinions expressed on this website may not be shared by other individuals who apply the same principles of The Dow Theory. Past performance is not an indication of future returns. It should not be assumed that any recommendations made will be profitable or without the risk of loss or will equal the performance of the benchmark portfolio. All investments involve the risk of potential investment losses as well as the potential for investment gains. The performance of any portfolio or investment strategy should be viewed in the context of the broad market and prevailing economic conditions.

For Subscriber service, please e-mail:

Latest News

The Telegraph of London quotes "Jack Schannep, author of Dow Theory for the 21st Century, there are some key theories that have to be accepted to successfully apply the process." DJIA: 22,997 Read the article HERE

Mark Hulbert of MarketWatch: For the first time in over three years, each of the three major Dow stock market averages has just hit a new all-time high.  These joint new highs are “very encouraging.”  DJIA 22,405  Read the article HERE.

+ more news