2015 is going into the record books as the toughest year for traders in 37 years. The best performing asset class of 2015 is stocks, and they were only up 2% for the year, including dividends. By comparison, stock market investors were toasted in 2008, but bonds were up 22%. The average hedge fund this year is down 4%. Bill Ackman of Pershing Square Capital has told his investors the fund's returns for 2015 will be the worst since its founding in 2004. Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway stock is down 11% for the year. To find a year with worse returns, one has to go back to 1937, when the best performing asset class was three month treasury bills at +0.3%.
2015 was the year for non-directional trading. Our Flying With The Condor™ trading service was up over 40% for 2015. Non-directional trading systems outperform when the market is largely trading sideways, turn in smaller, but positive, returns when the market is trending higher, and outperform bear markets with smaller losses. Historically, markets trend strongly higher or lower only about 25% of the time, so non-directional traders have an edge.
SPX closed today at $2044, down $19, while RUT lost $14 to close at $1136. Volatility rose a bit with the VIX at 18.2%, up about 0.9 points. Trading volume of the S&P 500 stocks came in at 1.5 billion shares, well below the 50 dma of 2.4 billion shares. Everyone has taken off for the holidays.
For 2015, the S&P 500 index opened at $2059 and closed at $2044, down 0.7%. The Russell 2000 Index opened the year at $1210 and closed at $1136, down 6.1%. NASDAQ was the only major index in positive territory, opening at $4760 and closing at $5007, up 5.2%.
My subscribers to the Flying With The Condor™ service were fortunate to be with me this year. That 40% gain helped offset some of these other poor performing sectors.
I hope you spent a wonderful Christmas with family and friends. Char and I visited close friends in Florida over Christmas and plan to spend this evening with a small group of close friends here at home. Thank you for trusting me with this responsibility this year. I wish you a new year in 2016 filled with happiness and prosperity. Best wishes.