Description of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio

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 of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio (YTD)

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

TotalReturn:

'The total return on a portfolio of investments takes into account not only the capital appreciation on the portfolio, but also the income received on the portfolio. The income typically consists of interest, dividends, and securities lending fees. This contrasts with the price return, which takes into account only the capital gain on an investment.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the total return of 32.7% in the last 5 years of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (68.7%)
  • Compared with SPY (47.9%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return, or increase in value of 28.5% is lower, thus worse.

CAGR:

'The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is a useful measure of growth over multiple time periods. It can be thought of as the growth rate that gets you from the initial investment value to the ending investment value if you assume that the investment has been compounding over the time period.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the annual return (CAGR) of 5.8% in the last 5 years of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (11%)
  • Compared with SPY (14%) in the period of the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) of 8.7% is lower, thus worse.

Volatility:

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Looking at the volatility of 8.8% in the last 5 years of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (13.3%)
  • Looking at volatility in of 8.3% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (12.5%).

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • The downside volatility over 5 years of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio is 9.6%, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (14.6%) in the same period.
  • Looking at downside risk in of 9.5% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to SPY (14.2%).

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.64) in the period of the last 5 years, the Sharpe Ratio of 0.38 of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio is smaller, thus worse.
  • During the last 3 years, the Sharpe Ratio is 0.75, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.91 from the benchmark.

Sortino:

'The Sortino ratio, a variation of the Sharpe ratio only factors in the downside, or negative volatility, rather than the total volatility used in calculating the Sharpe ratio. The theory behind the Sortino variation is that upside volatility is a plus for the investment, and it, therefore, should not be included in the risk calculation. Therefore, the Sortino ratio takes upside volatility out of the equation and uses only the downside standard deviation in its calculation instead of the total standard deviation that is used in calculating the Sharpe ratio.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Looking at the downside risk / excess return profile of 0.35 in the last 5 years of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.58)
  • Compared with SPY (0.81) in the period of the last 3 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 0.66 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Looking at the Ulcer Ratio of 4.75 in the last 5 years of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (3.96 )
  • Looking at Ulcer Ratio in of 3.68 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (4.01 ).

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (-19.3 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum reduction from previous high of -15.4 days of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio is larger, thus better.
  • Looking at maximum drop from peak to valley in of -14.8 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to SPY (-19.3 days).

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • The maximum time in days below previous high water mark over 5 years of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio is 330 days, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (187 days) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the maximum days below previous high is 330 days, which is higher, 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • The average days below previous high over 5 years of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio is 105 days, which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (41 days) in the same period.
  • Compared with SPY (36 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average days below previous high of 93 days is higher, thus worse.

Performance of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio (YTD)

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.

Allocations of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio
()

Allocations

Returns of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio (%)

  • "Year" returns in the table above are not equal to 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.