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 |

'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:- Looking at the total return of 83.2% in the last 5 years of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (122.1%)
- During the last 3 years, the total return is 30.7%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 43.5% from the benchmark.

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (17.3%) in the period of the last 5 years, the annual performance (CAGR) of 12.9% of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio is lower, thus worse.
- Looking at annual performance (CAGR) in of 9.4% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (12.8%).

'Volatility is a rate at which the price of a security increases or decreases for a given set of returns. Volatility is measured by calculating the standard deviation of the annualized returns over a given period of time. It shows the range to which the price of a security may increase or decrease. Volatility measures the risk of a security. It is used in option pricing formula to gauge the fluctuations in the returns of the underlying assets. Volatility indicates the pricing behavior of the security and helps estimate the fluctuations that may happen in a short period of time.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The 30 days standard deviation over 5 years of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio is 11.7%, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (18.8%) in the same period.
- Looking at historical 30 days volatility in of 13.8% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to SPY (22.9%).

'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:- Looking at the downside volatility of 8.7% in the last 5 years of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (13.6%)
- During the last 3 years, the downside volatility is 10.5%, which is smaller, thus better than the value of 16.8% from the benchmark.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the Sharpe Ratio of 0.89 in the last 5 years of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.79)
- During the last 3 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) is 0.5, which is greater, thus better than the value of 0.45 from the benchmark.

'The Sortino ratio measures the risk-adjusted return of an investment asset, portfolio, or strategy. It is a modification of the Sharpe ratio but penalizes only those returns falling below a user-specified target or required rate of return, while the Sharpe ratio penalizes both upside and downside volatility equally. Though both ratios measure an investment's risk-adjusted return, they do so in significantly different ways that will frequently lead to differing conclusions as to the true nature of the investment's return-generating efficiency. The Sortino ratio is used as a way to compare the risk-adjusted performance of programs with differing risk and return profiles. In general, risk-adjusted returns seek to normalize the risk across programs and then see which has the higher return unit per risk.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The excess return divided by the downside deviation over 5 years of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio is 1.2, which is higher, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (1.09) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the downside risk / excess return profile is 0.65, which is higher, thus better than the value of 0.61 from the benchmark.

'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:- The Ulcer Ratio over 5 years of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio is 4.37 , which is smaller, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (5.59 ) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (7.15 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Ulcer Ratio of 5.55 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The maximum drop from peak to valley over 5 years of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio is -24.3 days, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (-33.7 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum DrawDown of -24.3 days is higher, thus better.

'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 time in days below previous high water mark over 5 years of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio is 350 days, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (139 days) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum days under water of 350 days is larger, thus worse.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The average time in days below previous high water mark over 5 years of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio is 72 days, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (33 days) in the same period.
- Looking at average days below previous high in of 104 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to SPY (45 days).

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 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.