Description

Recommended for: Capital accumulation, savers and investors 10-20 years from retirement. 

The Moderate Risk Portfolio is appropriate for an investor with a medium risk tolerance and a time horizon longer than five years. Moderate investors are willing to accept periods of moderate market volatility in exchange for the possibility of receiving returns that outpace inflation by a significant margin.

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 also offer a version for 401k plans which do not allow individual stocks. See details here.

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 volatility less than 12%.

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 50%)
  • BUG Permanent Portfolio Strategy (BUG) (0% to 50%)
  • Global Market Rotation Strategy (GMRS) (0% to 50%)
  • Global Sector Rotation Strategy (GSRS) (0% to 50%)
  • Hedge Strategy (HEDGE) (0% to 40%)
  • Short Term Bond Strategy (STBS) (0% to 50%)
  • Universal Investment Strategy (UIS) (0% to 50%)
  • Universal Investment Strategy 2x Leverage (UISx2) (0% to 30%)
  • US Market Strategy (USMarket) (0% to 50%)
  • US Market Strategy 2x Leverage (USMx2) (0% to 30%)
  • US Sector Rotation Strategy (USSECT) (0% to 50%)
  • World Top 4 Strategy (WTOP4) (0% to 50%)

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the total return, or increase in value of 71% in the last 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (129.1%)
  • Looking at total return, or performance in of 35.5% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (71.3%).

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The annual performance (CAGR) over 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio is 11.3%, 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 compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.7% 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:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (18.7%) in the period of the last 5 years, the historical 30 days volatility of 9% of Moderate Risk Portfolio is lower, thus better.
  • Looking at 30 days standard deviation in of 10.7% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to SPY (22.5%).

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (13.6%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside risk of 6.5% of Moderate Risk Portfolio is lower, thus better.
  • Compared with SPY (16.3%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside deviation of 7.7% is smaller, 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of 0.98 in the last 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.83)
  • Compared with SPY (0.76) in the period of the last 3 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of 0.76 is greater, thus better.

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 1.36 in the last 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (1.15)
  • Compared with SPY (1.05) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside risk / excess return profile of 1.06 is larger, thus better.

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (5.59 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Downside risk index of 2.1 of Moderate Risk Portfolio is lower, thus better.
  • During the last 3 years, the Ulcer Ratio is 2.58 , which is smaller, thus better than the value of 6.38 from the benchmark.

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:
  • The maximum DrawDown over 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio is -16.9 days, which is higher, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the same period.
  • Compared with SPY (-33.7 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley of -16.9 days is larger, thus better.

MaxDuration:

'The Maximum 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. It is the length of time the account was in the Max Drawdown. A Max Drawdown measures a retrenchment from when an equity curve reaches a new high. It’s the maximum an account lost during that retrenchment. This method is applied because a valley can’t be measured until a new high occurs. Once the new high is reached, the percentage change from the old high to the bottom of the largest trough is recorded.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 87 days of Moderate Risk Portfolio is smaller, thus better.
  • Looking at maximum time in days below previous high water mark in of 87 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (119 days).

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:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (32 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark of 18 days of Moderate Risk Portfolio is lower, thus better.
  • Compared with SPY (25 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark of 21 days is lower, thus better.

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 Moderate Risk 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.