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Haven't seen that disaster put blue for about two years, but still suspect I'm about even because of 2011.

One notion is that if you're going to be a little hedged all the time,
you want to use disaster puts in a bull market but short futures in an obvious bear.
Disaster puts don't lose very much money when the market is rising.

How do you know when it's a bear?
Lots of simple ways, but no new recent high for several months is a bad sign.
A bull market is almost by definition a series of new recent highs not too far apart.
If you see that, you're in a bull market. If you don't, you might not be.
One simple rule is no new fresh higher trailing-100-day-high in the last 100 trading days.
Since that post 4.6 years ago the S&P has risen net 46.9% while the signal was bullish and fallen net -2.6% while it was bearish.
The last buy signal was January 2012 with the S&P at 1292.
The KISS approach to market timing, assuming you want one.

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