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:

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (67.2%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return of % of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio is lower, thus worse.
  • Compared with SPY (50.7%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return, or increase in value of % is lower, thus worse.

CAGR:

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Looking at the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of % in the last 5 years of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (10.8%)
  • During the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) is %, which is smaller, thus worse than the value of 14.7% from the benchmark.

Volatility:

'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 historical 30 days volatility over 5 years of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio is %, which is smaller, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (13.5%) in the same period.
  • Compared with SPY (12.8%) in the period of the last 3 years, the 30 days standard deviation of % is lower, thus better.

DownVol:

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Looking at the downside risk of % in the last 5 years of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (14.8%)
  • Looking at downside risk in of % in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (14.7%).

Sharpe:

'The Sharpe ratio (also known as the Sharpe index, the Sharpe measure, and the reward-to-variability ratio) is a way to examine the performance of an investment by adjusting for its risk. The ratio measures the excess return (or risk premium) per unit of deviation in an investment asset or a trading strategy, typically referred to as risk, named after William F. Sharpe.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.62) in the period of the last 5 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio is smaller, thus worse.
  • During the last 3 years, the Sharpe Ratio is , which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.95 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • The downside risk / excess return profile over 5 years of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio is , which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.56) in the same period.
  • Compared with SPY (0.83) in the period of the last 3 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of is smaller, 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:
  • The Ulcer Ratio over 5 years of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio is , which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (3.99 ) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the Downside risk index is , which is smaller, thus better than the value of 4.09 from the benchmark.

MaxDD:

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • The maximum reduction from previous high over 5 years of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio is days, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (-19.3 days) in the same period.
  • Looking at maximum drop from peak to valley in of days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • The maximum days below previous high over 5 years of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio is days, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (187 days) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark is days, which is smaller, thus better 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Looking at the average days under water of days in the last 5 years of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (42 days)
  • Compared with SPY (36 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average days below previous high of days is lower, thus better.

Performance of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio (YTD)

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.

Allocations of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio
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Allocations

Returns of Aronson Family Taxable Portfolio (%)

  • 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.