NEW YORK ( ETF Expert) --The warning signs for a stock market pullback are everywhere. Historically, a 17% move over 17 weeks (sans correction) is not only substantive in size, it may be "long in the tooth."What's more, the ultra-low levels on the CBOE S&P 500 Volatility Index ( VIX) demonstrate complacency.
Trend-following with the long-term moving average has its flaws; most notably, it tends to be late to a bullish party. On the other hand, it nearly always keeps the powder dry and significantly minimizes the downside risk of bear markets. TRND may not have a long history as an exchange-traded tracker, yet it is proving to be an effective risk-adjusted investment vehicle.
3. PowerShares Emerging Markets Technical Leaders ( PIE). Most emerging market stock ETFs are heavy on the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India China). The problem? If you are hanging with the largest emerging economies in 2013, you've been losing money. Note: Think Vanguard Emerging Markets ( VWO). In contrast, PIE uses relative strength when conducting its quarterly rebalancing. With Thailand, Indonesia and Mexico having had the best momentum in the most recent quarter, the continuation of that momentum has led to phenomenal gains in the first quarter of 2013. In spite of a tendency by some commentators to overplay the fundamental valuation card, individual investors should not underestimate the impact that technical analysis is having on successful portfolios. Follow @etfexpert This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.