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:

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • The total return, or increase in value over 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio is 69.9%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (122.1%) in the same period.
  • Compared with SPY (64.6%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return of 36.2% 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:
  • Looking at the annual performance (CAGR) of 11.2% in the last 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (17.3%)
  • During the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) is 10.9%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 18.1% from the benchmark.

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the historical 30 days volatility of 9.1% in the last 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (18.7%)
  • 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:

'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 deviation of 6.5% of Moderate Risk Portfolio is lower, thus better.
  • During the last 3 years, the downside volatility is 7.7%, which is lower, thus better than the value of 16.4% from the benchmark.

Sharpe:

'The Sharpe ratio is the measure of risk-adjusted return of a financial portfolio. Sharpe ratio is a measure of excess portfolio return over the risk-free rate relative to its standard deviation. Normally, the 90-day Treasury bill rate is taken as the proxy for risk-free rate. A portfolio with a higher Sharpe ratio is considered superior relative to its peers. The measure was named after William F Sharpe, a Nobel laureate and professor of finance, emeritus at Stanford University.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Looking at the Sharpe Ratio of 0.96 in the last 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.79)
  • Compared with SPY (0.69) in the period of the last 3 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of 0.78 is greater, thus better.

Sortino:

'The Sortino ratio measures the risk-adjusted return of an investment asset, portfolio, or strategy. It is a modification of the Sharpe ratio but penalizes only those returns falling below a user-specified target or required rate of return, while the Sharpe ratio penalizes both upside and downside volatility equally. Though both ratios measure an investment's risk-adjusted return, they do so in significantly different ways that will frequently lead to differing conclusions as to the true nature of the investment's return-generating efficiency. The Sortino ratio is used as a way to compare the risk-adjusted performance of programs with differing risk and return profiles. In general, risk-adjusted returns seek to normalize the risk across programs and then see which has the higher return unit per risk.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (1.09) in the period of the last 5 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 1.33 of Moderate Risk Portfolio is higher, thus better.
  • Compared with SPY (0.95) in the period of the last 3 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 1.08 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Looking at the Downside risk index of 2.09 in the last 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (5.58 )
  • During the last 3 years, the Ulcer Index is 2.57 , which is lower, thus better than the value of 6.83 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the maximum DrawDown of -16.9 days in the last 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio, 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 -16.9 days is higher, 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 87 days in the last 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (139 days)
  • Compared with SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 87 days is lower, thus better.

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (33 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark of 20 days of Moderate Risk Portfolio is lower, thus better.
  • During the last 3 years, the average days under water is 21 days, which is lower, thus better than the value of 35 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 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.