Description

This portfolio has been optimized for achieving the highest possible return while limiting the maximum Drawdown, that is the highest drop from peak to valley over the analyzed period, to 10%. As a reference, the maximum experienced drawdown of the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) over the same period has been 27%, while the SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) experienced a drop of 55%.

As such it is a moderate Portfolio suited for investors with a limited risk tolerance and moderate growth expectations.

Please note that the Maximum DrawDown refers to a single event, for analyzing the risk of losses you should also consider other related metrics like the maximum and average duration and the Ulcer Ratio. A more reliable measure for the downside risk of an asset over a period of time is the Downside Deviation or Volatility.

Please note that this portfolio might use leveraged ETF and single stocks. Should these not be allowed in your retirement account please see our 401k and IRS compatible Conservative, Moderate, and Aggressive Risk Portfolios. Contact us for special requirements

Methodology & Assets
This portfolio is constructed by our proprietary optimization algorithm based on Modern Portfolio Theory pioneered by Nobel Laureate Harry Markowitz. Using historical returns, the algorithm finds the asset allocation that produced the highest return with maximum drawdown less than 10%.

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 100%)
  • BUG Permanent Portfolio Strategy (BUG) (0% to 100%)
  • Leveraged Gold-Currency Strategy (GLD-USD) (0% to 100%)
  • Global Market Rotation Strategy (GMRS) (0% to 100%)
  • Global Sector Rotation Strategy (GSRS) (0% to 100%)
  • Maximum Yield Strategy (MYRS) (0% to 100%)
  • Universal Investment Strategy (UIS) (0% to 100%)
  • Universal Investment Strategy 2x Leverage (UISx2) (0% to 100%)
  • US Market Strategy (USMarket) (0% to 100%)
  • US Market Strategy 2x Leverage (USMx2) (0% to 100%)
  • US Sector Rotation Strategy (USSECT) (0% to 100%)
  • World Top 4 Strategy (WTOP4) (0% to 100%)

Statistics (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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (129.1%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return, or performance of 39.2% of Max Drawdown less than 10% is smaller, thus worse.
  • Looking at total return in of 22.2% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (71.3%).

CAGR:

'Compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is a business and investing specific term for the geometric progression ratio that provides a constant rate of return over the time period. CAGR is not an accounting term, but it is often used to describe some element of the business, for example revenue, units delivered, registered users, etc. CAGR dampens the effect of volatility of periodic returns that can render arithmetic means irrelevant. It is particularly useful to compare growth rates from various data sets of common domain such as revenue growth of companies in the same industry.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The annual performance (CAGR) over 5 years of Max Drawdown less than 10% is 6.8%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (18.1%) in the same period.
  • Compared with SPY (19.7%) in the period of the last 3 years, the annual performance (CAGR) of 6.9% is lower, thus worse.

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:
  • The volatility over 5 years of Max Drawdown less than 10% is 5.6%, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (18.7%) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the volatility is 6.1%, which is lower, thus better than the value of 22.5% from the benchmark.

DownVol:

'The downside volatility is similar to the volatility, or standard deviation, but only takes losing/negative periods into account.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (13.6%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside volatility of 4% of Max Drawdown less than 10% is smaller, thus better.
  • Compared with SPY (16.3%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside risk of 4.5% is lower, thus better.

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:
  • The ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) over 5 years of Max Drawdown less than 10% is 0.78, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.83) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) is 0.73, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.76 from the benchmark.

Sortino:

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The excess return divided by the downside deviation over 5 years of Max Drawdown less than 10% is 1.08, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (1.15) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation is 0.98, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 1.05 from the benchmark.

Ulcer:

'The Ulcer Index is a technical indicator that measures downside risk, in terms of both the depth and duration of price declines. The index increases in value as the price moves farther away from a recent high and falls as the price rises to new highs. The indicator is usually calculated over a 14-day period, with the Ulcer Index showing the percentage drawdown a trader can expect from the high over that period. The greater the value of the Ulcer Index, the longer it takes for a stock to get back to the former high.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Looking at the Ulcer Ratio of 2.64 in the last 5 years of Max Drawdown less than 10%, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (5.59 )
  • Looking at Downside risk index in of 3.11 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to SPY (6.38 ).

MaxDD:

'Maximum drawdown is defined as the peak-to-trough decline of an investment during a specific period. It is usually quoted as a percentage of the peak value. The maximum drawdown can be calculated based on absolute returns, in order to identify strategies that suffer less during market downturns, such as low-volatility strategies. However, the maximum drawdown can also be calculated based on returns relative to a benchmark index, for identifying strategies that show steady outperformance over time.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Looking at the maximum reduction from previous high of -9 days in the last 5 years of Max Drawdown less than 10%, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days)
  • Compared with SPY (-33.7 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum reduction from previous high of -9 days is larger, thus better.

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:
  • Looking at the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 301 days in the last 5 years of Max Drawdown less than 10%, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (139 days)
  • Compared with SPY (119 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 301 days is higher, thus worse.

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 under water over 5 years of Max Drawdown less than 10% is 67 days, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (32 days) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark is 86 days, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 25 days from the benchmark.

Performance (YTD)

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.

Allocations
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Allocations

Returns (%)

  • Note that yearly returns do not equal the sum of monthly returns due to compounding.
  • Performance results of Max Drawdown less than 10% 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.