The Second Grader's Starter Portfolio is a Lazy Portfolio proposed by Paul Farrell. It was meant as a portfolio solution to a very small investor, with a long investment horizon. Farrell gives an example of 8-year old Kevin who got a $10,000 gift form his gramdmother. With a time horizon of 30+ years, the portfolio uses no load, low-cost index funds. It splits the money into 60% Total Stock Market Index, 30% Total International Stock and 10% Total Bond Market Index. The portfolio can be constructed using ETFs such as Vanguard Total Stock Market Index - VTI, iShares MSCI EAFE International Index - EFA and iShares Lehman Aggregate Bond Index - AGG.

Using mutual funds: VBMFX=10%, VGTSX=30%, VTSMX=60%

Using ETFs: AGG=10%, EFA=30%, SPY=60%

The backtest uses allocation to ETFs.

'Total return, when measuring performance, is the actual rate of return of an investment or a pool of investments over a given evaluation period. Total return includes interest, capital gains, dividends and distributions realized over a given period of time. Total return accounts for two categories of return: income including interest paid by fixed-income investments, distributions or dividends and capital appreciation, representing the change in the market price of an asset.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (58.9%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return, or increase in value of 38.8% of Second Grader's Starter is smaller, thus worse.
- Looking at total return in of 24.5% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (33.9%).

'The compound annual growth rate isn't a true return rate, but rather a representational figure. It is essentially a number that describes the rate at which an investment would have grown if it had grown the same rate every year and the profits were reinvested at the end of each year. In reality, this sort of performance is unlikely. However, CAGR can be used to smooth returns so that they may be more easily understood when compared to alternative investments.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.8% in the last 5 years of Second Grader's Starter, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (9.7%)
- Looking at annual performance (CAGR) in of 7.6% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (10.2%).

'Volatility is a statistical measure of the dispersion of returns for a given security or market index. Volatility can either be measured by using the standard deviation or variance between returns from that same security or market index. Commonly, the higher the volatility, the riskier the security. In the securities markets, volatility is often associated with big swings in either direction. For example, when the stock market rises and falls more than one percent over a sustained period of time, it is called a 'volatile' market.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The historical 30 days volatility over 5 years of Second Grader's Starter is 18.4%, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (21.6%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (25%) in the period of the last 3 years, the volatility of 21.4% is smaller, thus better.

'Risk measures typically quantify the downside risk, whereas the standard deviation (an example of a deviation risk measure) measures both the upside and downside risk. Specifically, downside risk in our definition is the semi-deviation, that is the standard deviation of all negative returns.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (15.7%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside deviation of 13.5% of Second Grader's Starter is lower, thus better.
- Looking at downside volatility in of 15.6% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to SPY (18.1%).

'The Sharpe ratio is the measure of risk-adjusted return of a financial portfolio. Sharpe ratio is a measure of excess portfolio return over the risk-free rate relative to its standard deviation. Normally, the 90-day Treasury bill rate is taken as the proxy for risk-free rate. A portfolio with a higher Sharpe ratio is considered superior relative to its peers. The measure was named after William F Sharpe, a Nobel laureate and professor of finance, emeritus at Stanford University.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.33) in the period of the last 5 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of 0.23 of Second Grader's Starter is smaller, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (0.31) in the period of the last 3 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of 0.24 is smaller, thus worse.

'The Sortino ratio improves upon the Sharpe ratio by isolating downside volatility from total volatility by dividing excess return by the downside deviation. The Sortino ratio is a variation of the Sharpe ratio that differentiates harmful volatility from total overall volatility by using the asset's standard deviation of negative asset returns, called downside deviation. The Sortino ratio takes the asset's return and subtracts the risk-free rate, and then divides that amount by the asset's downside deviation. The ratio was named after Frank A. Sortino.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The ratio of annual return and downside deviation over 5 years of Second Grader's Starter is 0.32, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.46) in the same period.
- Looking at ratio of annual return and downside deviation in of 0.33 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.43).

'The ulcer index is a stock market risk measure or technical analysis indicator devised by Peter Martin in 1987, and published by him and Byron McCann in their 1989 book The Investors Guide to Fidelity Funds. It's designed as a measure of volatility, but only volatility in the downward direction, i.e. the amount of drawdown or retracement occurring over a period. Other volatility measures like standard deviation treat up and down movement equally, but a trader doesn't mind upward movement, it's the downside that causes stress and stomach ulcers that the index's name suggests.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the Ulcer Ratio of 8.53 in the last 5 years of Second Grader's Starter, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (8.91 )
- Compared with SPY (11 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Ulcer Ratio of 10 is lower, thus better.

'Maximum drawdown measures the loss in any losing period during a fund’s investment record. It is defined as the percent retrenchment from a fund’s peak value to the fund’s valley value. The drawdown is in effect from the time the fund’s retrenchment begins until a new fund high is reached. The maximum drawdown encompasses both the period from the fund’s peak to the fund’s valley (length), and the time from the fund’s valley to a new fund high (recovery). It measures the largest percentage drawdown that has occurred in any fund’s data record.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley of -30.3 days of Second Grader's Starter is larger, thus better.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum reduction from previous high is -30.3 days, which is greater, thus better than the value of -33.7 days from the benchmark.

'The Maximum Drawdown Duration is an extension of the Maximum Drawdown. However, this metric does not explain the drawdown in dollars or percentages, rather in days, weeks, or months. It is the length of time the account was in the Max Drawdown. A Max Drawdown measures a retrenchment from when an equity curve reaches a new high. It’s the maximum an account lost during that retrenchment. This method is applied because a valley can’t be measured until a new high occurs. Once the new high is reached, the percentage change from the old high to the bottom of the largest trough is recorded.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The maximum days under water over 5 years of Second Grader's Starter is 270 days, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (271 days) in the same period.
- Looking at maximum days below previous high in of 270 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to SPY (271 days).

'The Average Drawdown Duration is an extension of the Maximum Drawdown. However, this metric does not explain the drawdown in dollars or percentages, rather in days, weeks, or months. The Avg Drawdown Duration is the average amount of time an investment has seen between peaks (equity highs), or in other terms the average of time under water of all drawdowns. So in contrast to the Maximum duration it does not measure only one drawdown event but calculates the average of all.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the average days below previous high of 63 days in the last 5 years of Second Grader's Starter, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (60 days)
- Compared with SPY (72 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average days below previous high of 73 days is larger, thus worse.

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.
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- Note that yearly returns do not equal the sum of monthly returns due to compounding.
- Performance results of Second Grader's Starter are hypothetical, do not account for slippage, fees or taxes, and are based on backtesting, which has many inherent limitations, some of which are described in our Terms of Use.