Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about subscriptions

Questions about the System

 How much does your service cost?
We offer two subscription plans. You can subscribe on a Monthly basis ($49.95 per month) or a Yearly basis ($499.95 per year). The Yearly plan provides the best value as it saves you almost $100.00 over a one-year period.

Both plans give you full access to ETFTide's services and come with an unconditional 30-day money back guarantee for first time subscribers. If not satisfied for any reason during the first 30 days, ETFTide will be glad to issue a full refund. Please read our "Refund/Cancellation Policy".
There is no long term commitment. You can cancel at any time but after the initial 30-day period there are no refunds.

If you decide to subscribe to our service, you will first be billed after you complete our subscription process (using our "Subscribe" page). You will then choose a User ID and Password which gives you immediate access to our current ranked ETF lists, as well as other subscriber-only resources of the Web site.

Unless you cancel the service, your subscription plan will automatically renew at the end of the subscription period, and you will be billed accordingly. This helps prevent any lapses in membership during which valuable trade signals could be missed.

 What do I get as part of the service?
Once a subscriber, you can log in to the site at anytime and check the latest ETF Ranking, as well as the current results of our sample portfolio, which includes the top five ETFs and is rebalanced every 4 weeks.
The ETF Ranking table is updated weekly but since we recommend rebalancing your portfolio only every 4 weeks (see "How Frequently do I Trade?" FAQ for more details), you do not have to log in every day.

ETFTide also publishes a short Weekly Commentary after the close of the market on Mondays. This commentary is posted on our Web site and also sent to you by e-mail.

 How much money do I need to get started?
There is no minimum, but in order to keep the subscription fee to no more than 1%, an amount of at least $50,000 would be justified (we used the $499.95 Yearly fee). On the other hand, a 2.5% gain on a $20,000 portfolio pays for the fee, and we would expect much higher gains in a typical year.

 Can I upgrade from a Monthly to a Yearly subscription plan?
Yes! Upgrading is advantageous and simple. A Yearly subscription plan costs $499.95 and will save you nearly $100.00 annually.

To find details and initiate the upgrade process, monthly subscribers must log in and click on the "Show me how" upgrading button located on the "ETF Ranking" page.

  Do you offer Professional subscriptions for RIAs or broker/dealers?
Yes, a Professional subscription is required by Registered Investment Advisors (RIA), broker/dealers or other institutional investors to use the ETFTide system and stock recommendations to direct the investment of your clients' assets. The benefits of a professional subscription range from offloading the day-to-day research to a proven and successful approach with a record of market-beating performance. Our professional and institutional services are available through our sister company MARKETTREND Advisors. You can contact them by going directly to their Web site at or by contacting them at:

MARKETTREND Advisors, Ltd.
3720 Gattis School Road #800-214
Round Rock, TX 78664

Phone: (512) 255-8722
Fax: (512) 255-8732
Business hours: Monday through Friday 8:00am to 5:00pm Central Standard Time

 Do you offer autotrading or managed accounts?
Yes. For those who do not have the time or inclination to trade our recommendations themselves, our sister company MARKETTREND Advisors offers ETFTide money management. You can contact them by going directly to their Web site at or by contacting them at:

MARKETTREND Advisors, Ltd.
3720 Gattis School Road #800-214
Round Rock, TX 78664

Phone: (512) 255-8722
Fax: (512) 255-8732
Business hours: Monday through Friday 8:00am to 5:00pm Central Standard Time

 How do I cancel and discontinue the service?
You can cancel at anytime. You simply have to send a cancellation request by e-mailing us at or by using our "Contact Us" page. Please specify your User ID in the message.

Please read our "Refund/Cancellation Policy".

 Can the ETFTide System be used to invest retirement funds such as an IRA?
The answer is an emphatic Yes. Most self-directed qualified retirement plans like IRAs allow you to trade the ETFs we recommend and since we do not employ shorting or margin it can be fully implemented in such retirement accounts.

 How can I be sure I receive e-mails from ETFTide?
With junk e-mail fast becoming the number one plague of computer users, your software vendors and Internet Service Provider have been erecting defenses and countermeasures which in their zeal can even block messages you actually want to receive, such as important communications from ETFTide.
One of the most effective ways to prevent this from happening is to include friendly e-mail addresses in your address book. The three addresses from which ETFTide sends e-mails are:


This easy fix frequently takes care of the problem, but to be on the safe side and to make sure that you will actually receive our e-mail communications, you can use the "Test communication with ETFTide" function at the top of the "My Profile" page, which you access after logging in. You can also specify an alternate e-mail address on the "My Profile" page. Our E-mail notifications will then be sent to that address too.

 How do I get started?
Getting started with the ETFTide System is very easy. The "Getting Started" section of the "Our Service" page provides a succinct step by step starter guide.

 How and when do I get notified about a new ETFTide Ranking?
We do not send notifications because the ETF Ranking is updated on a fixed schedule every week. The ETFTide system is run mid-morning each trading Monday and the ETF Ranking is published on the Web site no later than 2:00 pm ET.

 Can I access the Top 5 ETFs with my SmartPhone?
A SmartPhone is a mobile device combining the capabilities of a wireless phone with PDA-type functionality. They let you communicate via voice or text along with the ability to access online information so you can stay in touch while on the go.

As part of our ongoing efforts to provide our subscribers access to the Top 5 ETFs when it is time for them to rebalance, wherever they are, ETFTide supports SmartPhone access to the current portfolio.

In order to function with our service, the SmartPhone must be equipped with:

  • Internet access
  • A JavaScript-enabled browser accepting secure pages (HTTPS protocol)

Examples of compatible devices:

  • Palm OS (version 5 or later) SmartPhones, e.g. PalmOne Treo 680
  • Windows Mobile (version 2003 or later) SmartPhones, e.g. PalmOne Treo 700

All you need to do is enter the URL into your SmartPhone's browser and follow the usual login steps.

 How and when do I get the Weekly Commentary?
A short Weekly Commentary is posted on the Web site and sent to active subscribers by e-mail on Mondays, no later than 9:00 pm ET. The latest and archived commentaries can be viewed on the "Weeklies" page after you log in.

 How should I act on your ETFTide Ranking recommendations?
You have three options:
  1. If you are starting a new portfolio, decide how many positions you want to trade, we recommend no fewer than 3 for diversification, and purchase the corresponding ETFs according to the most recent ETF Ranking
  2. You are at the end of your rebalancing cycle (typically 4 weeks), so you get the latest ranking from the ETFTide Web site and trade accordingly
  3. You are in a middle of your rebalancing cycle, simply ignore the recommendations, and wait until it is time to rebalance

 What do you mean by Rebalance and Rebalance Period?
Rebalancing is the action of removing the ETFs which are no longer listed as top performers on the website from your portfolio, and replacing them by the ones from the current selection. This is typically done every 4 weeks (the Rebalancing Period), see "When to trade after a new list has been issued?" for more details.

 When to trade after a new list has been issued?
ETFTide system is run mid-morning each trading Monday and the ETF Ranking is published on the Web site no later than 2:00 pm ET. When your 4 week period is up, you should rebalance your positions as soon as possible, typically during the same trading day. To alleviate the potential risk for opening gaps on new recommendations, for thinly traded ETFs, we do not recommend placing market orders before the market open. Instead, you should trade manually after the open to wait for any significant gap to close back down. If you cannot do that, we would recommend a "limit order" with the limit set at say 1% above the previous closing price.

  Why not rebalance more frequently than every 4 weeks?
The ranking is updated on a weekly basis to allow newcomers to build their positions without having to wait too long between updates. Nonetheless there may be little changes from one week to the next and our backtesting has demonstrated that rebalancing every 4 weeks delivers good results without incurring too much trading. Since our Model is momentum based and long-term oriented, it is unlikely that the ranking will change dramatically from one week to the next. Anyway, would an ETF slip a few positions, it could take a while before this impacts the returns.

 One of my positions is not listed in the top 5 anymore, what should I do?
Basically, if you follow the recommended strategy, you should wait until it is time to rebalance your portfolio to update your positions, as explained in the FAQ "Why not rebalance more frequently than every 4 weeks?". The ETFs ranking list is updated on a weekly basis, so our members can start their own portfolio at any time. But when you are invested, all you have to do is wait until the end of your rebalance period, typically 4 weeks, to replace some of the positions in your portfolio.

 Why not rank all available ETFs on the ETFTide website?
The key concept of ETFTide is to diversify amongst the top 5 market segments. If we included all ETFs we might end up with the top 5 being concentrated in a single market segment. Our extensive testing has demonstrated that ranking a subset which includes the major ETFs instead of including all of them delivers better returns over time.

 What are the requirements for an ETF to be included in the ETFTide list?
The ETF needs to be significantly representative of its sector or family to be included in the list; we selected the most traded ETFs which could show at least one year of history.

 Should I trade in synch with your sample portfolio?
We would not recommend it in order to avoid potential influence on the ETF price when too many ETFTide subscribers trade at the same time. There can be discrepancies between the performance of the sample portfolios and your own but over time the returns should be very similar.

 How frequently do I trade?
As mentioned in "When to trade after a new list has been issued?". Our predetermined holding period of choice is 4 weeks; this cycle duration has demonstrated great returns while avoiding too frequent trading. The "Average Periodic Turnover" being around 25%, it is possible that some ETFs will remain in the portfolio for several periods in a row.

You typically only have to trade once every 4 weeks and therefore you do not have to check the Web site on a daily basis .

 Do you use stop losses?
Based on our backtesting, it appears that implementing stop losses with the ETFTide does not improve the overall returns. Nonetheless, during certain periods some ETFs may experience significant drawdowns, so depending on your risk tolerance, you may feel more comfortable implementing your own stop loss. We would recommend not setting it lower than 8%.
The backtested ETFTide returns displayed in the "Results" page were obtained without the use of any stop loss.

 How does the system perform during bear markets?
ETFTide remains fully invested at all times but because it includes varied asset classes and investments, it tends to rotate into defensive positions during significant stock market downturns. Our backtesting has shown that in the worst years of the most recent bear market, 2001 and 2002, our ETFTide portfolio lost only -5.57% and +1.91% respectively as compared with -12.06% and -21.74% for the S&P 500. Another point of mention is that in our testing, at the end of 2001 there were less than 50 ETFs to choose from, and many of the more defensive types such as precious metals, bonds and currency funds did not exist yet.


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