**Recommended for:** Capital preservation, liquidity and for investors close to or in retirement.

The Conservative Portfolio is appropriate for an investor with a low risk tolerance or a need to make withdrawals over the next 1 to 3 years. Conservative investors are willing to accept lower returns in exchange for lower account drawdowns in periods of market volatility.

To be compatible with most retirement plans, this Portfolio does not include our Maximum Yield Strategy and leveraged Universal Investment Strategy. If you are using a more flexible account you can choose from our unconstrained portfolios in the Portfolio Library.

We offer a portfolio version for 401k plans which do not allow individual stocks - this is set with a moderate risk level, but actually results in a volatility which might also be acceptable for those looking for a conservative set. See details here.

While this portfolio provides an optimized asset allocation based on historical returns, your investment objectives, risk profile and personal experience are important factors when deciding on the best investment vehicle for yourself. You can also use the Portfolio Builder or Portfolio Optimizer to construct your own personalized portfolio.

Assets and weight constraints used in the optimizer process:

- Bond ETF Rotation Strategy (BRS) (0% to 40%)
- BUG Permanent Portfolio Strategy (BUG) (0% to 40%)
- Global Market Rotation Strategy (GMRS) (0% to 40%)
- Global Sector Rotation Strategy (GSRS) (0% to 40%)
- Hedge Strategy (HEDGE) (0% to 40%)
- Short Term Bond Strategy (STBS) (0% to 50%)
- Universal Investment Strategy (UIS) (0% to 40%)
- US Market Strategy (USMarket) (0% to 40%)
- US Sector Rotation Strategy (USSECT) (0% to 40%)
- World Top 4 Strategy (WTOP4) (0% to 40%)

'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:- Looking at the total return, or increase in value of 62.3% in the last 5 years of Conservative Risk Portfolio, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (101.5%)
- During the last 3 years, the total return, or increase in value is 17.5%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 29.7% from the benchmark.

'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:- The compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over 5 years of Conservative Risk Portfolio is 10.2%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (15.1%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (9.1%) in the period of the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) of 5.5% is lower, thus worse.

'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:- The 30 days standard deviation over 5 years of Conservative Risk Portfolio is 7.1%, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (20.9%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (17.6%) in the period of the last 3 years, the 30 days standard deviation of 5% is smaller, thus better.

'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 deviation over 5 years of Conservative Risk Portfolio is 5.1%, which is smaller, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (14.9%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (12.3%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside deviation of 3.4% is smaller, thus better.

'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:- Looking at the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of 1.09 in the last 5 years of Conservative Risk Portfolio, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.6)
- During the last 3 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) is 0.61, which is larger, thus better than the value of 0.37 from the benchmark.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 1.5 in the last 5 years of Conservative Risk Portfolio, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.84)
- During the last 3 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation is 0.88, which is larger, thus better than the value of 0.53 from the benchmark.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The Downside risk index over 5 years of Conservative Risk Portfolio is 1.99 , which is smaller, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (9.32 ) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the Ulcer Index is 1.96 , which is lower, thus better than the value of 10 from the benchmark.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the maximum DrawDown of -14.8 days in the last 5 years of Conservative Risk Portfolio, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days)
- During the last 3 years, the maximum DrawDown is -5.2 days, which is larger, thus better than the value of -24.5 days from the benchmark.

'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'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 227 days in the last 5 years of Conservative Risk Portfolio, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (488 days)
- Looking at maximum days under water in of 227 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (488 days).

'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:- The average time in days below previous high water mark over 5 years of Conservative Risk Portfolio is 41 days, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (123 days) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (177 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark of 54 days is lower, thus better.

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.
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Allocations and holdings shown below are delayed by one month.

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- Note that yearly returns do not equal the sum of monthly returns due to compounding.
- Performance results of Conservative Risk Portfolio are hypothetical and do not account for slippage, fees or taxes.
- Results may be based on backtesting, which has many inherent limitations, some of which are described in our Terms of Use.