Trend Service – Strategy + Performance

BetterBeta Trading's Trend newsletter service is a complete directional options trading approach designed for retail options traders.

We apply a medium-term absolute momentum model and a set of volatility measures to the major index (SPY, GLD, IWM, etc.) and volatility ETFs (VXX, UVXY) and take positions via long and short options. Our trend service utilizes three distinct directional strategies - all quantitative - to adjust to market conditions. This provides retail traders with a complete directional trading model that benefits from the inherent asymmetries in options, allowing for greater gains with reduced market exposure.

Interested in learning more?
Visit our Trend newsletter service registration page and take advantage of our free trial:

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Trade Performance

Realized gains (trades that were closed) for each week since the end of May.

Monthly performance (realized returns only)


Trade Log - Historical Performance
The following chart shows the performance of the Trend newsletter since the launch in April 2017. Closed positions reflect the realized gains while positions listed as "open" are priced based on the value of the ETF or options contract(s) as of the date listed in the table (beneath the total returns).

Starting capital$10,000   Total Returns$6,869.51non-compounded
As of2/21/18
Open Positions
ETFOptionContracts/SharesOpen PriceCurrent PriceReturn %NetModel
DIA2Mar 245/240/237.5 P10.60.6813.33%$8.00DIA (hedge)
SPY23Feb 252/250 P30.450.177.78%$105.00SPY Trend
RUT28Feb 1585/1600 CS17.751-87.10%-$675.00RVX
VXX20Apr 26 P13.50.57-83.71%-$293.00volatility
Closed Positions
UnderlyingOptionContracts/SharesOpen PriceClose PriceReturn %NetModel
February 2018
DIA20Apr 248 C18.47.8-7.14%-$60.00DIA Trend
SPY20Apr18 263C110.5411.59.11%$96.00SPY trend
January 2018
SPX29Jan 2805/2810P20.60100.00%$120.00volatility
VXX26Jan 27/30 CS10.50.65-30.00%-$15.00volatility
VXX26Jan 27 P11.850.81-56.22%-$104.00volatility
SPX17Jan 2715/2720P20.550100.00%$110.00volatility
SPX10Jan 2685/2690P20.550100.00%$110.00volatility
SPX3Jan 2660/2665 P20.550100.00%$110.00volatility
December 2017
SPX29Dec 2650/2655 P20.550100.00%$110.00volatility
SPX20Dec 2635/2640 P20.60100.00%$120.00volatility
RUT22Dec 1485/1500 C17.6014.7594.08%$715.00RUT reversal
SPY16Feb18 250C19.9520.38104.82%$1,043.00SPY trend
VIX20Dec 12/10 P(S)20.701.55-121.43%-$170.00hedge
SPX13Dec 2590/2595 P20.550100.00%$110.00volatility
SPX6Dec 2595/2600 P20.60100.00%$120.00volatility
November 2017
SPX29Nov17 2575/2580P20.550100.00%$110.00volatility
RUT30Nov 1480/1475 P11.850.3581.08%$150.00RUT reversal
SPX15Nov17 2555/2560P20.550100.00%$110.00volatility
SPX8Nov17 2545/2550P20.550100.00%$110.00volatility
SPX1Nov17 2535/2540P20.60100.00%$120.00volatility
October 2017
SPX25Oct17 2535/2540P20.50100.00%$100.00volatility
SPY17Nov 240C110.7016.5254.39%$582.00SPY Trend
SPX18Oct17 2525/2530P20.60100.00%$120.00volatility
SPX11Oct17 2510/2515P20.60100.00%$120.00volatility
SPX4Oct17 2475/2480P20.550100.00%$110.00volatility
September 2017
VIX18Oct 20/30 C (L)20.450.05-88.89%-$80.00hedge
VIX18Oct 12/10 P(S)20.740.9-21.62%-$32.00hedge
SPX27Sep17 2480/2485P20.60100.00%$120.00volatility
SPX20Sep17 2470/2475P20.60.0591.67%$110.00volatility
SPX13Sep17 2435/2440P20.650100.00%$130.00volatility
August 2017
SPX31Aug17 2410/2415P20.650100.00%$130.00volatility
SPX23Aug17 2440/2445P20.652.6-300.00%-$390.00volatility
SPX16Aug17 2440/2445P20.750100.00%$150.00volatility
SPX9Aug17 2450/2455P20.80100.00%$160.00volatility
July 2017
SPX28Jul17 2440/2445P20.650100.00%$130.00volatility
SPX21Jul17 2410/2415P20.60100.00%$120.00volatility
SPX14Jul17 2395/2400P20.90.0594.44%$170.00volatility
SPX7Jul17 2390/2395P20.70.0592.86%$130.00volatility
SPY29Sep 235 Call110.009.71-2.90%-$29.00SPY Trend
June 2017
SPX30Jun17 2400/2405P10.60100.00%$60.00volatility
SPX23Jun17 2395/2405P10.950.3563.16%$60.00volatility
SPX16Jun17 2390/2400P11.10.1586.36%$95.00volatility
SPX9Jun17 2370/2380P11.10.1586.36%$95.00volatility
May 2017
SPX2Jun17 2370/2380P11.150.373.91%$85.00volatility
April 2017

The Quant Models Behind Our Trend Strategy  

How do we maximize profits while minimizing drawdowns in our Trends newsletter? We rely on three distinct quantitative trading models.


What to Expect from BetterBeta Trading's Trend newsletter service

  • In a typical month, we have 10-12 trade alerts to open, close or roll options positions. For example, we may have long call in SPY and sell a weekly SPY call against it. When we reach the expiration for the short call, we often sell the next week's expiration, assuming the longer term long SPY signal is still in effect. We never sell unhedged options so subscribers always know their max risk on any position.
  • Like all classic trend following strategies, the SPY trend and index reversal trades feature trailing stop losses that allow us to let the winners run while closing any trades that fail to move in the expected direction.
  • Depending on the strength of the market's trends, we may have 4-5 open positions at any one time. The recommended sizing of the positions is based on starting capital of $10k. Subscribers can scale up or down as they choose to match their available feel of capital and to use the signals we publish.
  • As a new subscriber, you can either open positions to match our current open positions or wait for future trade signals.
  • All trade alerts are issued to our subscribers via email. The open and closed positions are also updated on our website in the Trend subscribers section.


Model Performance
The following is the walk-forward (not historical) performance of the three strategies that make up our trend newsletter trade signals. This approach is a change from the previous trend service strategy which ran from August 2014 to March 2017 (historical performance available here). Although the previous service was profitable, we chose to modify the approach to simplify the service and employ models with higher profit factors.

Please note: the results below uses only ETFs to generate these returns. In our "live" newsletter, we use both volatility ETFs and options on ETFs such as SPY, IWM, QQQ and GLD.

All performance numbers (net, gains, losses) are $usd per share (non-compounded). As an example, the $225.47 net for the volatility model is for a single share - multiple that by the number of shares owned to calculate your projected returns. Profit factor is calculated by dividing the total gains by total losses. The volatility and SPY trends backtests are from December 2010. The start date for the reversal model is December 2011.

ModelsVolatility ETFsSPY TrendIndex Reversals
Profit Factor8.277.993.86
Win %56.86%65.63%72.34%
Avg Win24.57%4.48%4.03%
Avg Loss-5.95%-1.12%-2.83%
Max Win189.85%11.38%9.94%
Max loss-17.68%-2.70%-4.06%
Volatility Model
The volatility model - both long and short volatility via ETFs linked to VIX futures contracts - has been largely short volatility. The sizable gains in 2011 were due to the model's switch to long volatility as the equity markets pulled back.
SPY Trend Model
The SPY model above features long equity exposure only. When equity markets sell off, we use long volatility ETFs and the index reversal program when/if there are trade signals. The flat lines in the trend model occur when there is no SPY position. This typically coincides with a drawdown in the buy and hold approach.

Become a Trend Subscriber

Part of trading success is finding a strategy that works for your timeline, risk tolerance and personality. That's why we offer a free, no-risk 10 day trial. Simply sign up and see for yourself how BetterBeta Trading's Trend newsletter service can improve your trading.

        Join our Trend Program        

Disclaimer: The future performance of our Trend newsletter service may vary from the above actual results. Markets change and our model will adjust accordingly to achieve greatest profitability within our risk parameters. The recommended asset allocation model for our programs may result in lower returns on a percentage basis relative to the capital allocated to the strategy. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about the programs.