Description of Minimum Volatility Portfolio

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%)
  • World Top 4 Strategy (WTOP4) (0% to 100%)
  • Global Sector Rotation Strategy (GSRS) (0% to 100%)
  • Global Market Rotation Strategy (GMRS) (0% to 100%)
  • Maximum Yield Strategy (MYRS) (0% to 100%)
  • NASDAQ 100 Strategy (NAS100) (0% to 100%)
  • Leveraged Gold-Currency Strategy (GLD-USD) (0% to 100%)
  • US Sector Rotation Strategy (USSECT) (0% to 100%)
  • Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy (UISx3) (0% to 100%)
  • US Market Strategy (USMarket) (0% to 100%)
  • Dow 30 Strategy (DOW30) (0% to 100%)
  • Universal Investment Strategy (UIS) (0% to 100%)

Statistics of Minimum Volatility Portfolio (YTD)

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

TotalReturn:

'The total return on a portfolio of investments takes into account not only the capital appreciation on the portfolio, but also the income received on the portfolio. The income typically consists of interest, dividends, and securities lending fees. This contrasts with the price return, which takes into account only the capital gain on an investment.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Looking at the total return, or performance of 43.1% in the last 5 years of Minimum Volatility Portfolio, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (66.9%)
  • Looking at total return, or increase in value in of 26.1% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (50.6%).

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • The annual performance (CAGR) over 5 years of Minimum Volatility Portfolio is 7.4%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (10.8%) in the same period.
  • Compared with SPY (14.7%) in the period of the last 3 years, the annual performance (CAGR) of 8.1% is lower, thus worse.

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • The 30 days standard deviation over 5 years of Minimum Volatility Portfolio is 5.3%, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (13.5%) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the historical 30 days volatility is 4.6%, which is lower, thus better than the value of 12.8% from the benchmark.

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:
  • Looking at the downside volatility of 5.9% in the last 5 years of Minimum Volatility Portfolio, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (14.8%)
  • Compared with SPY (14.7%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside volatility of 5.4% is lower, thus better.

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Looking at the Sharpe Ratio of 0.94 in the last 5 years of Minimum Volatility Portfolio, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.61)
  • During the last 3 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) is 1.21, which is larger, thus better than the value of 0.95 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 0.84 in the last 5 years of Minimum Volatility Portfolio, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.56)
  • Compared with SPY (0.83) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside risk / excess return profile of 1.03 is larger, thus better.

Ulcer:

'The ulcer index is a stock market risk measure or technical analysis indicator devised by Peter Martin in 1987, and published by him and Byron McCann in their 1989 book The Investors Guide to Fidelity Funds. It's designed as a measure of volatility, but only volatility in the downward direction, i.e. the amount of drawdown or retracement occurring over a period. Other volatility measures like standard deviation treat up and down movement equally, but a trader doesn't mind upward movement, it's the downside that causes stress and stomach ulcers that the index's name suggests.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Looking at the Ulcer Index of 2.22 in the last 5 years of Minimum Volatility Portfolio, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (3.99 )
  • Compared with SPY (4.1 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Downside risk index of 2.07 is smaller, thus better.

MaxDD:

'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:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (-19.3 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum reduction from previous high of -6.8 days of Minimum Volatility Portfolio is higher, thus better.
  • Looking at maximum reduction from previous high in of -5.3 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 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:
  • The maximum days below previous high over 5 years of Minimum Volatility Portfolio is 253 days, which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (187 days) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the maximum days under water is 253 days, which is larger, thus worse 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The average days under water over 5 years of Minimum Volatility Portfolio is 60 days, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (42 days) in the same period.
  • Looking at average days under water in of 59 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to SPY (36 days).

Performance of Minimum Volatility Portfolio (YTD)

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.

Allocations of Minimum Volatility Portfolio
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Allocations

Returns of Minimum Volatility Portfolio (%)

  • 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.