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:
  • Looking at the total return of 21.9% 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 (59.2%)
  • During the last 3 years, the total return, or performance is 11%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 33.1% from the benchmark.

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over 5 years of Dr. Bernstein's Smart Money Portfolio is 4%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (9.7%) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the annual performance (CAGR) is 3.5%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 10% 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 historical 30 days volatility of 10.5% 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 (18.7%)
  • Compared with SPY (21.5%) in the period of the last 3 years, the 30 days standard deviation of 11.9% 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:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (13.6%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside volatility of 7.9% of Dr. Bernstein's Smart Money Portfolio is lower, thus better.
  • During the last 3 years, the downside volatility is 9.1%, which is lower, thus better than the value of 15.7% 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:
  • The Sharpe Ratio over 5 years of Dr. Bernstein's Smart Money Portfolio is 0.15, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.39) in the same period.
  • Looking at Sharpe Ratio in of 0.09 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.35).

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 (0.53) in the period of the last 5 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 0.19 of Dr. Bernstein's Smart Money Portfolio is lower, thus worse.
  • During the last 3 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation is 0.11, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.48 from the benchmark.

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (5.79 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Ulcer Ratio of 4.32 of Dr. Bernstein's Smart Money Portfolio is smaller, thus better.
  • Looking at Downside risk index in of 4.82 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to SPY (6.83 ).

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Looking at the maximum DrawDown of -24.3 days in the last 5 years of Dr. Bernstein's Smart Money Portfolio, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days)
  • Looking at maximum drop from peak to valley in of -24.3 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to SPY (-33.7 days).

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • The maximum time in days below previous high water mark over 5 years of Dr. Bernstein's Smart Money Portfolio is 260 days, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (187 days) in the same period.
  • Looking at maximum time in days below previous high water mark in of 148 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to SPY (139 days).

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:
  • Looking at the average days under water of 58 days in the last 5 years of Dr. Bernstein's Smart Money Portfolio, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (42 days)
  • During the last 3 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark is 41 days, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 38 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.