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Author: mungofitch Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Winner! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 253129  
Subject: Re: Poll: Screen Holding Period? Date: 10/16/2012 11:55 AM
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It might be more meaningful to know what the preferred rebalance period is.
When following the screens, we don't really have direct control over the holding period...


FWIW
By jargon convention on the board, the "holding period" or trading cycle is the frequency
with which one checks the current picks and might trade based on the results.
Hence, "monthly hold" normally means you check every month, not that
all your stocks are held for a month. In this context, the poll is asking how often you
go check the picks to see whether there are trades to be done, not how long the average stock is held.

The average length of the holding period of a stock is of course very different;
the same stock might get picked many months in a row or held till it drops in the ranks.

The rebalance period is different again, and rarely used, meaning the
frequency with which you equalize the sizes of your positions.
You might check your picks monthly and not rebalance them when you sell
old stuff and buy new stuff, or you might rebalance your position sizes
monthly and not consider changing any of the picks more often than quarterly.
I almost never rebalance positions. Generally it's only when something
has been a huge winner and I want to take some of the profits.
I generally use a 3 week hold (trading cycle), but my screens are often
such that the picks don't change that frequently.

I recommend finding out what holding period (trading cycle length)
works best for your screens using realistic trading costs on the GTR1
backtester, then use a hold that's a week (or more) longer than that to
allow for the inevitable overtuning. The returns in a backtest will
always be over-rosy, but the friction will be surprisingly accurate.
Since the optimal holding period is a function of the two, the best
holding period in real life is longer than what seems best in backtest.

Jim
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