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 is the amount of value an investor earns from a security over a specific period, typically one year, when all distributions are reinvested. Total return is expressed as a percentage of the amount invested. For example, a total return of 20% means the security increased by 20% of its original value due to a price increase, distribution of dividends (if a stock), coupons (if a bond) or capital gains (if a fund). Total return is a strong measure of an investment’s overall performance.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The total return, or increase in value over 5 years of Dr. Bernstein's Smart Money Portfolio is 28.5%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (62.4%) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the total return, or performance is 17.8%, which is smaller, thus worse than the value of 39.3% from the benchmark.

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:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (10.2%) in the period of the last 5 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.2% of Dr. Bernstein's Smart Money Portfolio is lower, thus worse.
  • Compared with SPY (11.7%) in the period of the last 3 years, the annual performance (CAGR) of 5.6% 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The 30 days standard deviation over 5 years of Dr. Bernstein's Smart Money Portfolio is 7.5%, which is smaller, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (13.5%) in the same period.
  • Compared with SPY (13.2%) in the period of the last 3 years, the 30 days standard deviation of 7% is lower, thus better.

DownVol:

'Downside risk is the financial risk associated with losses. That is, it is the risk of the actual return being below the expected return, or the uncertainty about the magnitude of that difference. 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the downside deviation of 5.5% 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 (9.8%)
  • During the last 3 years, the downside volatility is 5.2%, which is lower, thus better than the value of 9.8% from the benchmark.

Sharpe:

'The Sharpe ratio (also known as the Sharpe index, the Sharpe measure, and the reward-to-variability ratio) is a way to examine the performance of an investment by adjusting for its risk. The ratio measures the excess return (or risk premium) per unit of deviation in an investment asset or a trading strategy, typically referred to as risk, named after William F. Sharpe.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.57) in the period of the last 5 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of 0.35 of Dr. Bernstein's Smart Money Portfolio is lower, thus worse.
  • Compared with SPY (0.69) in the period of the last 3 years, the Sharpe Ratio of 0.45 is lower, thus worse.

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.78) in the period of the last 5 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 0.48 of Dr. Bernstein's Smart Money Portfolio is smaller, thus worse.
  • During the last 3 years, the downside risk / excess return profile is 0.61, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.94 from the benchmark.

Ulcer:

'The Ulcer Index is a technical indicator that measures downside risk, in terms of both the depth and duration of price declines. The index increases in value as the price moves farther away from a recent high and falls as the price rises to new highs. The indicator is usually calculated over a 14-day period, with the Ulcer Index showing the percentage drawdown a trader can expect from the high over that period. The greater the value of the Ulcer Index, the longer it takes for a stock to get back to the former high.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • The Downside risk index over 5 years of Dr. Bernstein's Smart Money Portfolio is 2.99 , which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (3.98 ) in the same period.
  • Looking at Ulcer Ratio in of 2.45 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to SPY (4.12 ).

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (-19.3 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum reduction from previous high of -11.1 days of Dr. Bernstein's Smart Money Portfolio is higher, thus better.
  • During the last 3 years, the maximum reduction from previous high is -11.1 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 288 days of Dr. Bernstein's Smart Money Portfolio is greater, thus worse.
  • Compared with SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum days under water of 148 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:
  • Looking at the average time in days below previous high water mark of 63 days in the last 5 years of Dr. Bernstein's Smart Money Portfolio, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (42 days)
  • During the last 3 years, the average days under water is 39 days, which is greater, thus worse than the value of 37 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 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.