Description of Moderate Risk Portfolio

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%)
  • World Top 4 Strategy (WTOP4) (0% to 50%)
  • Global Sector Rotation Strategy (GSRS) (0% to 50%)
  • Global Market Rotation Strategy (GMRS) (0% to 50%)
  • NASDAQ 100 Strategy (NAS100) (0% to 50%)
  • US Sector Rotation Strategy (USSECT) (0% to 50%)
  • Universal Investment Strategy (UIS) (0% to 50%)
  • US Market Strategy (USMarket) (0% to 50%)
  • Dow 30 Strategy (DOW30) (0% to 50%)
  • Short Term Bond Strategy (STBS) (0% to 50%)

Statistics of Moderate Risk Portfolio (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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (66.9%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return, or performance of 132.7% of Moderate Risk Portfolio is larger, thus better.
  • Compared with SPY (50.6%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return, or increase in value of 59.8% is higher, thus better.

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • The annual return (CAGR) over 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio is 18.4%, which is higher, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (10.8%) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) is 17%, which is larger, thus better than the value of 14.7% from the benchmark.

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (13.5%) in the period of the last 5 years, the volatility of 9.8% of Moderate Risk Portfolio is smaller, thus better.
  • Looking at historical 30 days volatility in of 9.5% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (12.8%).

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • The downside volatility over 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio is 11.1%, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (14.8%) in the same period.
  • Compared with SPY (14.7%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside volatility of 11% is lower, 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.61) in the period of the last 5 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of 1.62 of Moderate Risk Portfolio is greater, thus better.
  • Looking at ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) in of 1.53 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to SPY (0.95).

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:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.56) in the period of the last 5 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 1.43 of Moderate Risk Portfolio is larger, thus better.
  • Looking at downside risk / excess return profile in of 1.31 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to SPY (0.83).

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:
  • The Ulcer Ratio over 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio is 2.34 , which is smaller, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (3.99 ) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the Ulcer Ratio is 2.58 , which is lower, thus better than the value of 4.1 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The maximum reduction from previous high over 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio is -9.1 days, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (-19.3 days) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the maximum reduction from previous high is -7.6 days, which is larger, thus better than the value of -19.3 days from the benchmark.

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:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (187 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum days below previous high of 133 days of Moderate Risk Portfolio is lower, thus better.
  • Compared with SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum days below previous high of 133 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • The average days below previous high over 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio is 28 days, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (42 days) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the average days below previous high is 36 days, which is greater, thus worse than the value of 36 days from the benchmark.

Performance of Moderate Risk Portfolio (YTD)

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.

Allocations of Moderate Risk Portfolio
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Allocations

Returns of Moderate Risk Portfolio (%)

  • 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.