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:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (75.6%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return of 45.3% of Moderate Risk Portfolio is lower, thus worse.
  • Compared with SPY (40%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return, or increase in value of 14.4% is lower, thus worse.

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • The annual performance (CAGR) over 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio is 7.8%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (11.9%) in the same period.
  • Compared with SPY (11.9%) in the period of the last 3 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.6% 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the historical 30 days volatility of 9.5% in the last 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (20.3%)
  • Looking at 30 days standard deviation in of 11.2% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (23.6%).

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:
  • The downside risk over 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio is 6.9%, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (14.9%) in the same period.
  • Looking at downside risk in of 8.2% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (17.3%).

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 0.56 in the last 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.46)
  • Compared with SPY (0.4) in the period of the last 3 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of 0.19 is lower, thus worse.

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:
  • The downside risk / excess return profile over 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio is 0.77, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (0.63) in the same period.
  • Compared with SPY (0.54) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside risk / excess return profile of 0.26 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:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (6.62 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Ulcer Index of 2.78 of Moderate Risk Portfolio is lower, thus better.
  • During the last 3 years, the Ulcer Ratio is 3.48 , which is lower, thus better than the value of 7.55 from the benchmark.

MaxDD:

'Maximum drawdown measures the loss in any losing period during a fund’s investment record. It is defined as the percent retrenchment from a fund’s peak value to the fund’s valley value. The drawdown is in effect from the time the fund’s retrenchment begins until a new fund high is reached. The maximum drawdown encompasses both the period from the fund’s peak to the fund’s valley (length), and the time from the fund’s valley to a new fund high (recovery). It measures the largest percentage drawdown that has occurred in any fund’s data record.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum reduction from previous high of -16.9 days of Moderate Risk Portfolio is larger, thus better.
  • Looking at maximum drop from peak to valley in of -16.9 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to SPY (-33.7 days).

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • 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 125 days of Moderate Risk Portfolio is lower, thus better.
  • Compared with SPY (120 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 125 days is higher, thus worse.

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:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (37 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average days below previous high of 24 days of Moderate Risk Portfolio is lower, thus better.
  • Compared with SPY (31 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average days below previous high of 30 days is smaller, thus better.

Performance (YTD)

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.

Allocations ()

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.