Description

Dr. William Bernstein is a physician and neurologist as well as a financial adviser to high net worth individuals. His smart money portfolio comprises the following fund allocation:

 

40% Vanguard Short Term Investment Grade VFSTX (SCJ, SHY)

15% Vanguard Total Stock Market VTSMX (NYSEARCA:VTI)

10% Vanguard Small Cap Value VISVX (NYSEARCA:VBR)

10% Vanguard Value Index VIVAX (NYSEARCA:VTV)

5% Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock VEIEX (NYSEARCA:VWO)

5% Vanguard European Stock VEURX (NYSEARCA:VEU)

5% Vanguard Pacific Stock VPACX (NYSEARCA:VPL)

5% Vanguard REIT Index VGSIX (RWX, VNQ)

5% Vanguard Small Cap Value NAESX or VTMSX (VB)

 

To summarize:

40% in U.S. equities

10% in international equities

5% in emerging market equities

5% in REITs

40% in fixed income

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • The total return over 5 years of Dr. Bernstein's Smart Money Portfolio is 35.5%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (97%) in the same period.
  • Looking at total return, or performance in of 11.3% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (39.3%).

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 Dr. Bernstein's Smart Money Portfolio is 6.3%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (14.6%) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) is 3.7%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 11.7% from the benchmark.

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 30 days standard deviation of 12% in the last 5 years of Dr. Bernstein's Smart Money Portfolio, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (20.9%)
  • Compared with SPY (17.5%) in the period of the last 3 years, the historical 30 days volatility of 10.1% is lower, thus better.

DownVol:

'The downside volatility is similar to the volatility, or standard deviation, but only takes losing/negative periods into account.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The downside risk over 5 years of Dr. Bernstein's Smart Money Portfolio is 8.8%, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (15%) in the same period.
  • Looking at downside volatility in of 7% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to SPY (12.1%).

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Looking at the Sharpe Ratio of 0.31 in the last 5 years of Dr. Bernstein's Smart Money Portfolio, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.58)
  • During the last 3 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) is 0.11, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.53 from the benchmark.

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.8) in the period of the last 5 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 0.43 of Dr. Bernstein's Smart Money Portfolio is lower, thus worse.
  • During the last 3 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation is 0.16, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.76 from the benchmark.

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 Downside risk index of 6.81 in the last 5 years of Dr. Bernstein's Smart Money Portfolio, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (9.33 )
  • During the last 3 years, the Ulcer Index is 7.49 , which is lower, thus better than the value of 10 from the benchmark.

MaxDD:

'Maximum drawdown is defined as the peak-to-trough decline of an investment during a specific period. It is usually quoted as a percentage of the peak value. The maximum drawdown can be calculated based on absolute returns, in order to identify strategies that suffer less during market downturns, such as low-volatility strategies. However, the maximum drawdown can also be calculated based on returns relative to a benchmark index, for identifying strategies that show steady outperformance over time.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • The maximum DrawDown over 5 years of Dr. Bernstein's Smart Money Portfolio is -24.3 days, which is higher, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the same period.
  • Compared with SPY (-24.5 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley of -17.2 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:
  • The maximum time in days below previous high water mark over 5 years of Dr. Bernstein's Smart Money Portfolio is 565 days, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (488 days) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the maximum days below previous high is 565 days, which is greater, thus worse than the value of 488 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • The average days under water over 5 years of Dr. Bernstein's Smart Money Portfolio is 160 days, which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (123 days) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the average days under water is 228 days, which is greater, thus worse than the value of 181 days from the benchmark.

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 Dr. Bernstein's Smart Money 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.