Description

This portfolio has been optimized for achieving the lowest possible historical volatility over the analyzed period with the involved assets. As such, it exhibits the least risk of all our portfolios, and is therefore suited especially for very risk adverse investors with conservative growth expectations.

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 lowest volatility.

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, 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:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (90.6%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return, or increase in value of 46.3% of Minimum Volatility Portfolio is smaller, thus worse.
  • Looking at total return in of 15.5% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (45.9%).

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • The compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over 5 years of Minimum Volatility Portfolio is 7.9%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (13.8%) in the same period.
  • Looking at compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) in of 4.9% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (13.4%).

Volatility:

'Volatility is a statistical measure of the dispersion of returns for a given security or market index. Volatility can either be measured by using the standard deviation or variance between returns from that same security or market index. Commonly, the higher the volatility, the riskier the security. In the securities markets, volatility is often associated with big swings in either direction. For example, when the stock market rises and falls more than one percent over a sustained period of time, it is called a 'volatile' market.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • The 30 days standard deviation over 5 years of Minimum Volatility Portfolio is 5.3%, which is smaller, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (19%) in the same period.
  • Looking at volatility in of 5.8% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (22.8%).

DownVol:

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

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (13.8%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside deviation of 3.8% of Minimum Volatility Portfolio is smaller, thus better.
  • During the last 3 years, the downside volatility is 4.4%, which is smaller, thus better than the value of 16.7% from the benchmark.

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Looking at the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of 1.01 in the last 5 years of Minimum Volatility Portfolio, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.59)
  • Looking at ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) in of 0.42 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.48).

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:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.82) in the period of the last 5 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 1.41 of Minimum Volatility Portfolio is larger, thus better.
  • Compared with SPY (0.65) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside risk / excess return profile of 0.55 is lower, 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Looking at the Downside risk index of 1.88 in the last 5 years of Minimum Volatility Portfolio, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (5.82 )
  • Looking at Ulcer Ratio in of 2.31 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (7.15 ).

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum DrawDown of -10.9 days of Minimum Volatility Portfolio is higher, thus better.
  • Compared with SPY (-33.7 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum DrawDown of -10.9 days is higher, 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) in days.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the maximum days below previous high of 113 days in the last 5 years of Minimum Volatility Portfolio, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (139 days)
  • Looking at maximum time in days below previous high water mark in of 113 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (139 days).

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:
  • The average time in days below previous high water mark over 5 years of Minimum Volatility Portfolio is 28 days, which is smaller, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (36 days) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark is 34 days, which is lower, thus better than the value of 45 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 Minimum Volatility 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.