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Larry Berman's Weekly Updates*

Week of October 18, 2021

Tactical changes:



Week of October 11, 2021

Protection & participation:

  • In the past week, Larry rolled the downside protection to put in place a range from 4325 to 4100 (S&P) for October month end. No covered call options set at this time.

Tactical changes:



Week of October 4, 2021

Tactical changes:

  • Growth: Rolled the gold miners trade from ZGD (BMO Equal Weight Global Gold Index ETF) to GDX (VanEck Gold Miners ETF/USA). Tactical Global Growth ETF Fund
  • Balanced: Added EMLC (Emerging Markets Fixed Income) Also rolled the gold miners trade from ZGD to GDX. Tactical Balanced ETF Fund
  • Dividend: Trimmed ZDY (US dividends) vs. ZDI (International Dividends); also took profits in ZWK (US banks). Also rolled the gold miners trade from ZGD to GDX. Tactical Dividend ETF Fund



Week of September 27, 2021

Tactical changes:



Week of September 20, 2021

Tactical changes:



Week of September 13, 2021

Tactical changes:

  • Growth: Move smaller, country-specific holdings to a broader range of stocks in mid and smaller caps; FLBR (Brazil) replaces EWZ (Brazil) and BRF (Argentina); FLGB (UK) replaces EWU (UK) and EWUS (UK Small Cap); and FLMX (Mexico) replaces EWW (Mexico). Tactical Global Growth ETF Fund
  • Balanced: Move smaller, country-specific holdings to a broader range of stocks in mid and smaller caps (not listed in the top 20 holdings); FLBR (Brazil) replaces EWZ (Brazil) and BRF (Argentina), and FLGB (UK) replaces EWU (UK) and EWUS (UK Small Cap). Tactical Balanced ETF Fund
  • Dividend: No trades last week. Tactical Dividend ETF Fund



Week of September 6, 2021

Tactical changes:



Week of August 30, 2021

Tactical changes:



Week of August 23, 2021

Tactical changes:



Week of August 16, 2021

Market Insights:

  • There were no trades last week for the tactical mandates managed by Larry Berman.

Tactical changes:



Week of August 9, 2021

Tactical changes:




Week of August 2, 2021

Tactical changes:

  • Growth: Unhedged some US dollar exposure, selling BMO S&P 500 Hedged to CAD Index ETF (ticker: ZUE) and buying BMO S&P 500 Index ETF (ticker: ZSP). Tactical Global Growth ETF Fund
  • Balanced: Emerging Markets local currency (ticker: EMLC) bought and sold. Unhedged some US dollar exposure, selling BMO S&P 500 Hedged to CAD Index ETF (ticker: ZUE) and buying BMO S&P 500 Index ETF (ticker: ZSP). Tactical Balanced ETF Fund
  • Dividend: Unhedged some US dollar exposure, selling BMO Premium Yield ETF (ticker: ZPAY) and buying BMO Premium Yield ETF (Hedged Units) (ticker: ZPAY-F). Tactical Dividend ETF Fund




Week of July 26, 2021

Tactical changes:

  • Growth: Added to longer-term thematic exposure (Chinese Internet) KWEB and hedged all US dollar exposure. Tactical Global Growth ETF Fund
  • Balanced: Added thematic holding (emerging markets local currency) EMLC, added to longer-term thematic exposure (Chinese Internet) KWEB and hedged all US dollar exposure. Tactical Balanced ETF Fund
  • Dividend: Added thematic holding (emerging markets dividend) DEM and hedged all US dollar exposure. Tactical Dividend ETF Fund




Week of July 19, 2021

Tactical changes:



Week of July 12, 2021

Tactical changes:

  • Growth: Hedged US$ exposure selling ZSP for ZUE ( S&P 500). Added longer-term thematic trade (Chinese Internet) KWEB after it hit capitulation oversold levels last week. Tactical Global Growth ETF Fund
  • Balanced: Hedged US$ exposure selling ZSP for ZUE ( S&P 500). Added longer-term thematic trade (Chinese Internet) KWEB after it hit capitulation oversold levels last week. Tactical Balanced ETF Fund
  • Dividend: Reduced US$ exposure selling ZPAY for ZPAY/F (Alt income). Opportunity to add to ZWK (US Banks covered call) on the recent dip. Tactical Dividend ETF Fund



Week of July 5, 2021

Market Insights:

  • There were no trades last week for the tactical mandates managed by Larry Berman.

Tactical changes:



Week of June 28, 2021

Market Insights:

  • There were no trades last week for the tactical mandates managed by Larry Berman.

Tactical changes:



Week of June 21, 2021

Market Insights:

  • On his approach of participation and protection, Larry maintains a downside hedge between 4200-3750 on the S&P 500, with a covered call at 4400 through September 30, 2021.

Tactical changes:



Week of June 14, 2021

Market Insights:

  • There were no trades last week for the tactical mandates managed by Larry Berman.

Tactical changes:



Week of June 7, 2021

Market Insights:

  • Participation and Protection: Larry maintains the hedge on the S&P 500 in place from 4200-3750 with a covered call at 4400 through Sept 30, 2021. This is a tactical hedge and is actively adjusted as opportunities develop.

Tactical changes:



Week of May 31, 2021

Market Insights:

  • The tactical mandates continue to provide a mix of protection and participation. The mandates have a downside hedge range on the S&P 500 in place from 4200-3750, with a covered call at 4400 through September 30, 2021.

Tactical changes:



Week of May 24, 2021

Market Insights:

  • Continue to see the Fed as the swing factor in markets. The Treasury needs to raise another $600B in excess of what the Fed is monetizing. That should add stress to asset prices in the coming quarters.
  • Value remains evident in emerging markets, where we look to add exposure as more opportunity develops.

Protection and Participation:

  • Downside hedge on the S&P 500 in place from 4200-3750 with a covered call at 4400 through Sept 30th. This is a tactical hedge and is actively adjusted as opportunities develop.

Tactical changes:

  • Growth: Shifted the balanced of our S&P 500 exposure back to ZSP from ZUE (hedged). Reduced ZGD (gold equities) exposure from about 15% to 10% with proceeds to cash for now. Tactical Global Growth ETF Fund
  • Balanced: Back to market weight US dollars. (sold ZUE and bought ZSP). Reduced exposure from about 10% to 6% as gold rallied and gold stocks moved back towards fair value. Tactical Balanced ETF Fund
  • Dividend: Raised cash last week by taking profits on our gold equity (ZGD) exposure. Tactical Dividend ETF Fund


Week of May 17, 2021

Market Insights:

  • Continue to see the Fed as the swing factor in markets. We now know that the Treasury needs to raise another $600B in excess of what the Fed is monetizing. That should add stress to asset prices in the coming quarters.

Protection and Participation:

  • Downside hedge on the S&P 500 in place from 4200-3750 with a covered call at 4400 through Sept 30th. This is a tactical hedge and is actively adjusted as opportunities develop.

Tactical changes:




Week of April 26, 2021

On his approach of participation and protection, Larry continues to hold a level of protection (put protection, between 3875-3500 of the S&P). Overall, he still sees one more push further to even higher valuations. The mandates currently have full upside participation as he as not written calls on the portfolio. He is studying them at this time to create a further buffer given the market advances already this year.

  • BAL: Added exposure to INDA and rolled half the currency exposure to EAFE by selling ZEA to buy ZDM. Turned over the long-bond position 200% in April. Bond duration closed slightly up from the previous week, but was as low at 7 and as high as 11 during the week. Bond yields dropped significantly and our long duration position was cut accordingly as part of the active focus on duration.
  • GRO: Made a currency-based tactical shift from ZEA to ZDM on half our exposure. Added INDA given longer-term growth exposure, and reduced exposure in the more overvalued US large caps (ZSP).
  • DIV: Moved from ZDI to ZDH given the weakness in the C$ prior to the BoC announcement to shift currency exposure. Trimmed gold exposure as planned on strength and boosted EM allocation, viewing dividends from EM markets as a good relative growth source.


Week of April 19, 2021

On his approach of participation and protection, Larry continues to hold a level of protection (put protection, between 3875-3500 of the S&P). The mandates currently have full upside participation as he as not written calls on the portfolio. He is reviewing them at this time to create a further buffer given the market advances already this year.

  • BAL: Bond yields dropped significantly last week and our long duration position was cut accordingly as part of the active focus on duration.
  • GRO: Added to the energy (reflation) trade by buying XLE and selling ZSP. Trimmed gold equities (ZGD) a bit on the strength; it remains a high conviction risk/return trade.
  • DIV: Cut exposure to the US$ above 1.26 as we see another dip below 1.24 in the coming weeks. Trimmed gold exposure as planned on strength, and boosted EM and European exposure.


Week of April 12, 2021

Larry made the following changes to the core of the tactical mandates. On his approach of participation and protection, Larry continues to hold a level of protection (put protection, between 3875-3500 of the S&P). The mandates currently have full upside participation as he as not written calls on the portfolio. He is studying them at this time to create a further buffer, given the market advances already this year.

  • BAL: Added to the US$ currency hedge last week rotating ZSP/ZUE. Also added energy XLE and EM exposure as they have hit our relative buy target. Increased duration in fixed income on weakness.
  • GRO: Significantly reduced our US$ exposure this week above 1.26 and looked for another move back to 1.23 where US$ exposure is more attractive again (Reduced ZSP and added ZUE). Sold some core S&P 500 to add 1% to energy (XLE that has seen a 15% relative correction in recent weeks).
  • DIV: Continued to increase EM exposure relative to other regions. Trimmed gold company exposure last week on improving relative strength. Also, slightly reduced US$ exposure last week with a shift from ZPAY/ZPAY-F.


Week of April 5, 2021

Larry has made a few changes in the core of the tactical mandates last week. On his approach of participation and protection, Larry continues to hold a level of protection (put protection, between 3875-3500 of the S&P). The mandates currently have full upside participation as he as not written calls on the portfolio.

  • BAL: Bought and sold duration (TLT) again. Improving the average cost on the position and looking to take advantage of extreme volatility in fixed-income. Hedged currency US equity exposure with a ZSP to ZUE trade.
  • GRO: Hedged some of our US equity exposure by shifting some exposure from ZSP to ZUE. Bought back the ZMT exposure we trimmed on the overbought condition.
  • DIV: We continue to increase EM exposure relative to other regions.


Week of March 29, 2021

Larry has made a few changes in the core of the tactical mandates last week. On his approach of participation and protection, Larry continues to hold a level of protection (put protection, between 3875-3500 of the S&P). The mandates currently have full upside participation as he has not written calls on the portfolio.

  • BAL: Trimmed EMLC and then bought it back about 2% lower. Traded duration (TLT) last week several times adding about 5 bps in value. Added to global mining (ZMT) on the dip last week.
  • GRO: Added exposure back to global mining (ZMT) as the sector declined about 15% from recent highs. Trimmed exposure to Japan again as they boosted purchases of ETFs.
  • DIV: Trimmed ZWU last week and added to US pipelines AMLP on the correction in the US energy sector. Added to global mining (ZMT) on the dip last week.


Week of March 22, 2021

Larry has made a few changes in the core of the tactical mandates last week. On his approach of participation and protection, he continues to hold put protection, between 3875-3500 of the S&P. The mandates currently have full upside participation as he as not written calls on the portfolio.

  • BAL: Sold some EMLC and added to TLT last week against the important technical support. Sold S&P 500 and added exposure to China A-Shares.
  • GRO: Sold S&P 500 to add an initial 1% to China, now boosting the overall EM weight.
  • DIV: Trimmed the gold sector a bit last week on the bounce (targeting 20% for now). Also adding EM given the relative weakness.


Week of March 15, 2021

Larry has made a few changes in the core of the three tactical mandates, which are in defense mode, with an overlay of participation and protection. He continues to hold a level of protection (downside between 3875-3500, i.e., 10% of the S&P 500).

  • BAL: Equities - Bought ZEM. Core equity exposure now above 60%. Fixed Income - Active on our duration management. Sold ZPR to add duration in TLT.
  • GRO: Equity - Added 5% to emerging markets (ZEM) this week and sold the US market (ZSP). Reduced small cap UK (EWUS) to add to large cap UK (EWU).
  • DIV: No trades last week. ZEM is already positioned in the mandate.



Week of March 8, 2021

Larry has made a number of changes in the three tactical mandates. He continues to maintain a level of protection (holding downside, between 3875-3500, i.e., 10% of the S&P 500).

  • BAL: Equity - Added S&P 500 (by 5%); clean energy (ZCLN); medical marijuana (HMMJ); global base metals (ZMT); Brazil (EWZ). Core US/EAFE equity is now at target weight of 55. Fixed Income - Active on duration management; extended it as yields tested key support (trimmed ZPR to add duration with TLT). Bought global emerging market debt (EMLC).
  • GRO: Added ZMT; energy and mining (EWZ); clean energy (ZCLN); medical marijuana (HMMJ); new position in cybersecurity (CIBR). Took half profit on our equal weight US exposure (RSP) and rolled that back to market cap weight S&P (locked in more than 500bps of alpha relating to that trade).
  • DIV: Sold part of ZWU, added ZUD for more growth potential, while maintaining dividend yield. OPEC+ surprised the market this week; mandate had lightened up in the sector expecting more supply. The C$ benefited, and that hurt this week with the euro falling versus the US$ on a flight to safety.



Week of March 1, 2021

Larry has made a few changes in the core of the mandate last week. Mostly related to bond markets and the potential that rising yields will push the FOMC into yield curve control later this year. See below for changes. On his approach of participation and protection, Larry continues to hold a level of protection (put protection, between 3875-3500 of the S&P). This will help mitigate the risk of the bond market to stress the stock market. The mandates currently have full upside participation as he as not written calls on the portfolio.

  • BAL: Sold ZCB to buy ZST. Reduce credit risk and duration, but added to TLT to offset. Shifted all long bonds into TLT for more active duration management.
  • GRO: Tactically sold half of ZMT as reflation trade getting crowded. Proceeds back to RSP (equal weight S&P 500 ETF). Equal weight S&P has outperformed the market weight S&P by over 350 bps this year.
  • DIV: No trades.


Week of February 22, 2021

Larry has made a number of changes in the mandates last week – He increased the core beta in all three mandates. In addition, Larry continues to hold a level of protection (put protection, between 3875-3500 of the S&P). The mandates currently have full upside participation as he as not written calls on the portfolio. He continues to tactically manage his holdings and degree of participation and protection.

  • BAL: Sold ZPAY, ZWP, ZWC, ZWU, bought ZSP, ZEA
  • GRO: Sold ZPAY, ZWP, bought ZSP, ZEA
  • DIV: Sold ZWP, bought ZDI




Week of February 15, 2021

Larry continues his participation and protection.

  • For participation, the core beta is inline with last week: Tactical Global Growth core beta is 71%, Tactical Dividend core beta is 62%, Tactical Balanced core beta is 26%.
  • For protection, the portfolio is partially hedged between 3875 and 3500.

Trading for the week included tweaks in the three tactical mandates:

  • Tactical Balanced: a bit more ZPR and TLT.
  • Tactical Growth: increasingly adding to EM and Asian exposures.
  • Tactical Dividend: Starting to reduce ZWU exposure to fund more global (EM) dividend.

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