Description

Ted Aronson is an asset manager. His family taxable account portfolio has been featured and tracked by MarketWatch.com's lazy portfolios, maintained by Paul Farrel. The lazy portfolio has done very well prior to 2008-2009 crash. 

The portfolio consists of the following index funds and their ETF substitutes:

- 20% in Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index (VEIEX) --- ETF: VWO

- 15% in Vanguard 500 Index (VFINX) --- ETF: VOO

- 15% in Vanguard Pacific Stock Index (VPACX) -- ETF: VPL

- 10% in Vanguard Extended Market Index (VEXMX) -- ETF: VXF

- 10% in Vanguard Inflation-Protected Securities (VIPSX) -- ETF: TIP

- 5% in Vanguard European Stock Index (VEURX) --- ETF: VGK

- 5% in Vanguard High-Yield Corporate (VWEHX) --- ETF: JNK

- 5% in Vanguard Long-Term U.S. Treasury (VUSTX) -- ETF: VGLT

- 5% in Vanguard Small Cap Growth (VISGX) --- ETF: VBK

- 5% in Vanguard Small Cap Value Index (VISVX) --- ETF: VBR

- 5% in Vanguard Total Stock Market Index (VTSMX) --- ETF: VTI

 

The Aronson Family Taxable ETF Lazy Portfolio consists of 11 funds. 

Asset Class Ticker Name
DIVERSIFIED EMERGING MKTS VWO Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock ETF
LARGE BLEND VOO Vanguard S&P 500 ETF
DIVERSIFIED PACIFIC/ASIA VPL Vanguard Pacific Stock ETF
MID-CAP BLEND VXF Vanguard Extended Market Index ETF
Inflation-Protected Bond TIP iShares Barclays TIPS Bond
EUROPE STOCK VGK Vanguard European ETF
High Yield Bond JNK SPDR Barclays Capital High Yield Bond
LONG GOVERNMENT VGLT Vanguard Long-Term Govt Bd Idx ETF
Small Growth VBK Vanguard Small Cap Growth ETF
SMALL VALUE VBR Vanguard Small Cap Value ETF
LARGE BLEND VTI Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF

Statistics (YTD)

What do these metrics mean? [Read More] [Hide]

TotalReturn:

'Total return is the amount of value an investor earns from a security over a specific period, typically one year, when all distributions are reinvested. Total return is expressed as a percentage of the amount invested. For example, a total return of 20% means the security increased by 20% of its original value due to a price increase, distribution of dividends (if a stock), coupons (if a bond) or capital gains (if a fund). Total return is a strong measure of an investment’s overall performance.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the total return, or performance of 69.5% in the last 5 years of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (120.8%)
  • Looking at total return, or performance in of 37.2% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (66.3%).

CAGR:

'Compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is a business and investing specific term for the geometric progression ratio that provides a constant rate of return over the time period. CAGR is not an accounting term, but it is often used to describe some element of the business, for example revenue, units delivered, registered users, etc. CAGR dampens the effect of volatility of periodic returns that can render arithmetic means irrelevant. It is particularly useful to compare growth rates from various data sets of common domain such as revenue growth of companies in the same industry.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (17.2%) in the period of the last 5 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.2% of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio is lower, thus worse.
  • During the last 3 years, the annual performance (CAGR) is 11.1%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 18.5% from the benchmark.

Volatility:

'In finance, volatility (symbol σ) is the degree of variation of a trading price series over time as measured by the standard deviation of logarithmic returns. Historic volatility measures a time series of past market prices. Implied volatility looks forward in time, being derived from the market price of a market-traded derivative (in particular, an option). Commonly, the higher the volatility, the riskier the security.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Looking at the historical 30 days volatility of 11.7% in the last 5 years of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (18.7%)
  • Compared with SPY (22.4%) in the period of the last 3 years, the 30 days standard deviation of 13.8% is lower, thus better.

DownVol:

'Downside risk is the financial risk associated with losses. That is, it is the risk of the actual return being below the expected return, or the uncertainty about the magnitude of that difference. 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (13.6%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside risk of 8.8% of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio is lower, thus better.
  • During the last 3 years, the downside volatility is 10.4%, which is smaller, thus better than the value of 16.3% from the benchmark.

Sharpe:

'The Sharpe ratio was developed by Nobel laureate William F. Sharpe, and is used to help investors understand the return of an investment compared to its risk. The ratio is the average return earned in excess of the risk-free rate per unit of volatility or total risk. Subtracting the risk-free rate from the mean return allows an investor to better isolate the profits associated with risk-taking activities. One intuition of this calculation is that a portfolio engaging in 'zero risk' investments, such as the purchase of U.S. Treasury bills (for which the expected return is the risk-free rate), has a Sharpe ratio of exactly zero. Generally, the greater the value of the Sharpe ratio, the more attractive the risk-adjusted return.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • The ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) over 5 years of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio is 0.74, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.78) in the same period.
  • Compared with SPY (0.71) in the period of the last 3 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of 0.62 is smaller, thus worse.

Sortino:

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The excess return divided by the downside deviation over 5 years of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio is 0.98, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (1.08) in the same period.
  • Compared with SPY (0.98) in the period of the last 3 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 0.83 is lower, thus worse.

Ulcer:

'Ulcer Index is a method for measuring investment risk that addresses the real concerns of investors, unlike the widely used standard deviation of return. UI is a measure of the depth and duration of drawdowns in prices from earlier highs. Using Ulcer Index instead of standard deviation can lead to very different conclusions about investment risk and risk-adjusted return, especially when evaluating strategies that seek to avoid major declines in portfolio value (market timing, dynamic asset allocation, hedge funds, etc.). The Ulcer Index was originally developed in 1987. Since then, it has been widely recognized and adopted by the investment community. According to Nelson Freeburg, editor of Formula Research, Ulcer Index is “perhaps the most fully realized statistical portrait of risk there is.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Looking at the Ulcer Ratio of 4.39 in the last 5 years of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (5.59 )
  • Looking at Ulcer Ratio in of 5.04 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (6.83 ).

MaxDD:

'A maximum drawdown is the maximum loss from a peak to a trough of a portfolio, before a new peak is attained. Maximum Drawdown is an indicator of downside risk over a specified time period. It can be used both as a stand-alone measure or as an input into other metrics such as 'Return over Maximum Drawdown' and the Calmar Ratio. Maximum Drawdown is expressed in percentage terms.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • The maximum reduction from previous high over 5 years of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio is -24.3 days, which is higher, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the maximum DrawDown is -24.3 days, which is larger, thus better than the value of -33.7 days from the benchmark.

MaxDuration:

'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:
  • Looking at the maximum days under water of 350 days in the last 5 years of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (139 days)
  • During the last 3 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark is 154 days, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 139 days from the benchmark.

AveDuration:

'The Drawdown Duration is the length of any peak to peak period, or the time between new equity highs. 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 time in days below previous high water mark of 72 days in the last 5 years of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (33 days)
  • During the last 3 years, the average days below previous high is 36 days, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 35 days from the benchmark.

Performance (YTD)

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.

Allocations
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Allocations

Returns (%)

  • Note that yearly returns do not equal the sum of monthly returns due to compounding.
  • Performance results of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio 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.