Description of Coffeehouse Portfolio

The Coffeehouse Portfolio was popularized by financial advisor Bill Schultheis in the best-selling book The Coffeehouse Investor. It is part of what we could call "Lazy Portfolios".

The Coffeehouse Portfolio consists of 7 funds. It starts with a 60/40 stock bond allocation. The 60% in stocks is allocated to a large-cap fund, a large-cap value fund, a small-cap fund, a small-cap value fund, an international fund, and a REIT fund.

Asset Class Portfolio Weight

Large Cap 10%
Large Cap Value 10%
Small Cap 10%
Small Cap Value 10%
International 10%
REIT 10%
Total Bond 40%

Statistics of Coffeehouse Portfolio (YTD)

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

TotalReturn:

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Looking at the total return, or performance of 31.5% in the last 5 years of Coffeehouse Portfolio, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (66%)
  • Compared with SPY (45.6%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return, or increase in value of 20.5% 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 compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.6% in the last 5 years of Coffeehouse Portfolio, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (10.7%)
  • During the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) is 6.4%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 13.3% 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Looking at the 30 days standard deviation of 7.3% in the last 5 years of Coffeehouse Portfolio, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (13.4%)
  • Looking at 30 days standard deviation in of 6.6% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (12.3%).

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (14.6%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside deviation of 7.9% of Coffeehouse Portfolio is lower, thus better.
  • Looking at downside risk in of 7.6% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (13.8%).

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 (0.61) in the period of the last 5 years, the Sharpe Ratio of 0.43 of Coffeehouse Portfolio is smaller, thus worse.
  • During the last 3 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) is 0.59, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.88 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:
  • Looking at the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 0.4 in the last 5 years of Coffeehouse Portfolio, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.56)
  • During the last 3 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation is 0.52, which is smaller, thus worse than the value of 0.78 from the benchmark.

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:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (3.99 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Ulcer Index of 2.87 of Coffeehouse Portfolio is lower, thus better.
  • During the last 3 years, the Downside risk index is 2.52 , which is lower, thus better than the value of 4.04 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Looking at the maximum reduction from previous high of -11.2 days in the last 5 years of Coffeehouse Portfolio, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (-19.3 days)
  • During the last 3 years, the maximum reduction from previous high is -11.2 days, which is greater, thus better than the value of -19.3 days from the benchmark.

MaxDuration:

'The Drawdown Duration is the length of any peak to peak period, or the time between new equity highs. The Max Drawdown Duration is the worst (the maximum/longest) amount of time an investment has seen between peaks (equity highs). Many assume Max DD Duration is the length of time between new highs during which the Max DD (magnitude) occurred. But that isn’t always the case. The Max DD duration is the longest time between peaks, period. So it could be the time when the program also had its biggest peak to valley loss (and usually is, because the program needs a long time to recover from the largest loss), but it doesn’t have to be'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (187 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 278 days of Coffeehouse Portfolio is larger, thus worse.
  • During the last 3 years, the maximum days under water is 141 days, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 139 days from the benchmark.

AveDuration:

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (41 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark of 59 days of Coffeehouse Portfolio is larger, thus worse.
  • Looking at average days below previous high in of 37 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to SPY (36 days).

Performance of Coffeehouse Portfolio (YTD)

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.

Allocations of Coffeehouse Portfolio
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Allocations

Returns of Coffeehouse Portfolio (%)

  • "Year" returns in the table above are not equal to the sum of monthly returns due to compounding.
  • Performance results of Coffeehouse 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.