US Momentum Strategy

1 Jul 2020
The US Momentum strategy works on the idea that stock prices that have risen significantly over the past, relative to their peers, tend to continue to outperform. This is known as the momentum effect and has been examined extensively in the academic literature. This strategy takes advantage of this effect by buying the top 10 momentum stocks in the S&P 500.

Latest Update – 01 July 2020

Being the first of the month, it is time to re-balance the US Momentum strategy. With the S&P500 remaining above its 200-day moving average, we will remain invested in the top 10 momentum stocks.

For the month of July, we already hold seven of the top 10 stocks, meaning members need to replace three stocks. The stocks to be sold are AMD:xnas, VRTX:xnas, and CTXS:xnas, while the stocks to be bought are DOCU:xnas, MELI:xnas, and PYPL:xnas.

As a reminder, we have made a slight change to the way the index filter works with this strategy, and will move to the defensive portfolio should the S&P500 closed below its 200-day moving average for five consecutive sessions, which can occur on any day of the month.

As a reminder, this strategy rebalances on the 1st of each month (or the next business day if the 1st is a non-trading day). For specific details of closed trades, please see our closed trades page.

For historical trade updates please click here.

Stock codeStock nameRankQtyEntry dateEntry priceCurrent priceCurrent valueReturn percentage
DocuSign Inc
291 Jul 20$172.21$178.96$5,189.843.92%
DexCom Inc
133 Jun 20$375.75$400.21$5,202.736.51%
893 Jun 20$55.62$60.00$5,340.007.87%
Mercadolibre Inc
51 Jul 20$985.77$977.14$4,885.70(0.88%)
143 Jun 20$353.01$381.20$5,336.807.99%
PayPal Holdings Inc
281 Jul 20$174.23$177.43$4,968.041.84%
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc
83 Jun 20$617.66$609.17$4,873.36(1.37%)
Seattle Genetics Inc
313 Jun 20$160.82$167.52$5,193.124.17%
Tesla Inc
53 Jun 20$881.56$1,119.63$5,598.1527.01%
Zoom Video Communications Inc Class A
243 Jun 20$208.08$259.13$6,219.1224.53%

*Quantities are based on investing US$5,000 per stock on the entry date
**All dollar values are in US dollars, and therefore returns are calculated as a US dollar return. Depending on whether or not you use hedging to manage your currency, exposure will determine whether you need to adjust returns to account for exchange rate effects.

US Momentum Strategy

The S&P 500 index contains the largest 500 companies listed in the US and therefore provides a good pool to find large capitalisation stocks that may exhibit the momentum effect. By searching this universe for stocks that have risen the most over the prior 6 to 12 months, we are banking on previous momentum persisting for a good proportion of the chosen stocks.

Of course, not all trades will be winners, but according to the back-testing, the strategy closes 54% of trades with a profit and produces an average return of 14.0% for these trades. On the other side, the average loss per losing trade is only -7.6%. These statistics show why the strategy can produce a market-beating return over the long term, but they also show that it only works when an investor buys the entire portfolio. Picking and choosing individual stocks from this table has a reasonable probability of selecting a losing trade. Similarly, adjusting the portfolio when the strategy re-balances each month is essential to make sure you hold the optimal portfolio of stocks.

How To Follow This Strategy

Rivkin’s strategies are designed to be as easy as possible for investors to follow. To follow the US Momentum strategy, investors need to buy the stocks in the above table in equal weights. Weights can drift over time as stock prices move, but we only recommend re-balancing stock weights if they stray too far from the target weight (10% per stock). The stock volumes shown in this table are based on a US$5,000 investment per stock which produces a US$50,000 portfolio. Being a US strategy, this is priced in US dollars and therefore, to get the Australian dollar value, the current exchange rate should be applied.

Once per month, the list of stocks will be updated in what we call a ‘re-balance’. This means investors will need to look at the new list and sell any stocks that are no longer on the list. After these stocks are sold, the new stocks from the current table can be bought.

About The Strategy

The US Momentum strategy was developed by Rivkin during 2015 and was rolled out as a strategy to clients in April 2016. Extensive back-testing was done to create and refine the strategy, and it is this back-testing that we rely on to give us increased confidence about future expectations. Please click here to find out more about the strategy.


Rivkin does not ever provide financial advice. Please consider your own circumstances before purchasing any of our products or acting on our general advice, for any Rivkin product or recommendation.



You need to be a Strategies user to comment on this post. Click here and become premium now!

We are glad you liked it

For your convenience, this will appear under your Saved articles in the top menu.