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We are now operating live on the new server. WooHoo!  We have completed the database file transfer of the from the old server to the new server and we are now in the process of re-running all Strategies on the new server so their support files (for charts and spreadsheets) will match exactly what you last saw on the old server. This process may take two hours or so, during which you will not yet be able to access your personal account information. When this message is gone you will know the process is complete and you may then continue to create and monitor Strategies to your heart's content.   :^)

Thanks for your patience while we make SectorSurfer faster and better for everyone,

Scott Juds
Chief SectorSurfer

Quality ETF Momentum Screener

Best U.S. ETFs w/Dividends & Volume for Investment Strategies

See Stock Screener

ETF Screening SectorSurfer Style:

This ETF screener doesn't directly generate a best ETF "buy list". It qualifies ETFs to participate as one of the dozen best ETFs in a SectorSurfer Strategy. The Strategy's algorithm performs the final comparative analysis to determine which one, and only one, of them to own next month. Your job is to provide the algorithm with excellent ETF selection alternatives.

This ETF screener is designed for U.S. ETFs with > $20M/day in trading volume AND > 1% annual dividend yield. Check boxes are provided below to change focus to include/exclude either of these two limitations.

The ETF Rank column in the table below is a composite measure of trend quality, 3-yr relative price energy, and relative volatility. ETF Rank should be your primary ETF screening method to find the best ETFs for your Strategies.  Additional technical analysis columns are provided to help you select top ETFs according to your personal tastes — such as  a minimum dividend yield.  

How to Select the Best U.S. ETFs for Your Investment Strategies:

1) Don't use performance measures that are poorly correlated to near term price performance. Daily volume, P/E Ratio, and dividends don't foretell next month's returns. Use ETF Rank as your most important ETF screening method.

2) Although ETF Rank is already adjusted for relative volatility, which is a measure of the variability in results to expect, you may sleep better at night selecting lower volatility U.S. ETFs. The best ETFs will also give you peace of mind.

3) Finally, select a set of quality ETFs that aren't clones of one another to increase the likelihood that at least one will be doing well when the others are not.
Stock Screener Strategy Examples 

This is not an ETF buy-list. It's a ranking of ETFs likely qualified to be in a Strategy. See above.

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High Quality ETF Screener

(See Parameter Definitions Below Table)

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 > $20M/day Volume

 > 1% Dividend Yield

Total Qualified ETFs Listed: 1

3/19/2019 3:12:53 AM

Download CSV Spreadsheet File

Symbol Company Name ETF Rank TrendQual 3YrExcess Volatility Sig.  1YrRange Vol.$M/d DivYield
SP500 Standard & Poors 500 0.0 55% 0% 1.00
88% 5658.7 2.1%

Definition of Parameters:

ETF Rank
A composite indicator that includes the Trend Quality Indicator, the 3-Yr Energy Indicator and other considerations, with the objective of ranking the "likely future value" of including an ETF in a SectorSurfer Strategy. It does not directly indicate which ETFs are hot to buy today, but rather indicates which ETFs will likely make excellent candidates for SectorSurfer's selection algorithm. Make this your primary ETF screening parameter.

Trend Quality

A measure of the probability that a trend will continue from one month to the next. It is calculated over the most recent five years as the ratio of the sum of all actual monthly returns during months that SectorSurfer's trend indicator predicted would be positive, divided by the sum of all of the positive return amounts predicted.  Some ETFs inherently have poor trend quality because they are thinly traded or have small capitalization and are easily buffeted by traders responding to economic, sector, or competitor headlines. Knowing whether a trend indication has meaning or is more likely irrelevant market noise is important to improving the batting average in ETF selection. An example of a nice steady trend characteristic is iShares Target Date 2015 (TZE), while others, such as Market Vectors Solar Energy ETF (KWT), are fraught with sharp trend reversals that negate trend reliability.

3-Yr Excess

The relative recent price strength as measured by the cumulative returns in excess of the S&P 500 over the past three years. Calculations are based on the daily sum of the positive differences in the one-month-double-smoothed daily returns of each.  Companies that have outperformed the S&P500 index in recent periods have likely done so for a reason, and are more likely to do so again in the future. While many companies do well during an initial growth phase, most later go dormant. However, some do have additional growth phases. For example, while DELL was a rising star in the late 90s, it has since been dormant for over a decade and serves no purpose in a current SectorSurfer ETF Strategy. See example DELL chart.

Relative Volatility
The ratio of the ETF's daily price volatility to the S&P500's daily price volatility, where volatility is measured by the standard deviation of the percentage change in daily price during the past three years. The daily volatility of the S&P500 typically runs about 1.2%. An ETF with 2.5 times the daily volatility will show a value of 2.5 in the table. Volatility is a measure of market noise that reduces reliability of the trend signal. The higher the volatility, the more likely an erroneous head-fake signal will be generated — and as you know, having a reliable handoff of the baton in a relay race is critical. A relative volatility rating of about 1.5 or less is recommended.

Signature Ribbon
Signature RibbonThe Ribbon's three colored bars provide a visual means to help identify ETFs of different character — meaning ETFs that have poorly correlated price movements that would be likely to play well together in a SectorSurfer Strategy as outlined here. The annotated chart to the right demonstrates how to interpret the Signature Ribbon's three colored bars.

Along the top of the chart is a portion of the screener row for VIAB showing its green-black-blue ribbons on the right side. The three ribbons represent the returns from each of the prior three years. Each year is further broken down into thirds, represented by the three primary colors red, green, and blue, which are combined together to make one stripe. The color triangle below shows how the various colors combine. For example, blue plus red makes purple, red plus green makes yellow, and all of them together create white. Red represents performance during the first part of the year, green during the middle, and blue the end. Performance is measured relative to the S&P500 during the same interval.
Color Chart
The first bar in the Signature Ribbon is bright green, indicating that the middle of the first year performed much better than the S&P500, but there was no contribution during the first (red) or last (blue) portions of the year. During the second year, VIAB performs about the same as the S&P500, so neither red, green, nor blue have contributions, leaving the second ribbon black. In the final year, VIAB performs about as well as the S&P500 during the start of the year, so no contribution to red, but performance is much better than the S&P500 during the middle and end portions of the year, contributing both green and blue to produce the aqua colored third bar in the Signature Ribbon.

Use the Signature Ribbon as an quick guide for identifying uncorrelated candidates for your Strategy, but always be sure to examine the chart and other performance metrics of each before adding it as a participating member of your Strategy.

1-Yr Price Range
The current price as a percentage of the range between the 52-week high and the 52-week low. For example, if the current price is $80, the 52-week high was $100 and the 52-weeek low was $50 then the value = ($80 - $50) / ($100 - $50) = 60%. At a glance you will know if you are going to be bottom fishing or investing in something powering on to new highs.

Volume in $M/day
The daily traded volume of shares in millions of dollars. Thinly traded ETFs are more likely to have poor trend characteristics and are more likely to have significant bid-ask spreads that degrade returns in actual trades. A checkbox is provided above to include or exclude ETFs trading under $20 million per day. Note that ETFs trading at about this level may, or may not, make this threshold from day-to-day because of its daily fluctuation in trading volume.

The annualized amount paid to shareholders by the company as a percent of share price. In the absence of any capital gains, the dividend yield is the return on investment for an ETF. However, in any trading system, eventually the ETF is sold, capital gains come to roost, and the dividends taken along the way simply amount to selling a portion of the investment each time a dividend is distributed. However, ETF prices used for charting and analysis are always dividend adjusted so that any analysis of the ETF's price is as if the dividends were reinvested in more shares. Thus, dividends do not represent any additional return not already represented in the adjusted price history. While some believe that the mere fact a company is paying a dividend is an indication of company maturity and prudent management, others would argue it signals the doldrums as management admits it no longer can think of better uses for surplus cash in product and market development. A checkbox is provided above to include or exclude ETFs under 1% annual dividend yield.

Spreadsheet Download
The link just above-right of the table enables downloading current data in the .csv spreadsheet file format. The file name contains both the current month and year so that the data from the last day of each month remains available on the server and accessible for your further experimentation. You can retrieve any of the files by using the following URL web address format: where mm and yyyy are replaced with the current month and year respectively. The first ETF spreadsheet is for 07-2013, and the first stocks spreadsheet is for 06-2012.

For example:
• for ETFs, and
• for stocks.
Note: The last nine columns of the spreadsheet contain the Signature Ribbon data for the nine four-month periods prior to the date of the spreadsheet in the order of oldest to most recent, with values from 0.00 to 9.99. The value is proportional to the relative amount by which its performance exceeds the performance of the S&P500 during the period (or that of a money market fund if the S&P500 is trending negatively). There are no negative values because SectorSurfer's algorithm is inherently designed to ignore potentially negative contributors, thus rendering them of zero value.