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:

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (77.4%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return, or increase in value of 31.4% of Dr. Bernstein's Smart Money Portfolio is lower, thus worse.
  • Looking at total return in of 15.1% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (43.3%).

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • The annual performance (CAGR) over 5 years of Dr. Bernstein's Smart Money Portfolio is 5.6%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (12.1%) in the same period.
  • Looking at annual return (CAGR) in of 4.8% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (12.7%).

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 historical 30 days volatility over 5 years of Dr. Bernstein's Smart Money Portfolio is 10.8%, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (19%) in the same period.
  • Looking at historical 30 days volatility in of 12.3% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to SPY (22%).

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:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (13.9%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside volatility of 8.1% of Dr. Bernstein's Smart Money Portfolio is lower, thus better.
  • Looking at downside deviation in of 9.4% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (16.2%).

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.51) in the period of the last 5 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of 0.29 of Dr. Bernstein's Smart Money Portfolio is smaller, thus worse.
  • During the last 3 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) is 0.19, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.46 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:
  • The ratio of annual return and downside deviation over 5 years of Dr. Bernstein's Smart Money Portfolio is 0.38, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.7) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation is 0.24, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.63 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Looking at the Ulcer Index of 4.27 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 (5.87 )
  • Compared with SPY (7.01 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Ulcer Ratio of 5.08 is lower, thus better.

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:
  • 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.
  • Looking at maximum DrawDown in of -24.3 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the maximum days under water of 173 days in the last 5 years of Dr. Bernstein's Smart Money Portfolio, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (139 days)
  • Compared with SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum days below previous high 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:
  • The average time in days below previous high water mark over 5 years of Dr. Bernstein's Smart Money Portfolio is 46 days, which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (37 days) in the same period.
  • Compared with SPY (45 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average days below previous high of 47 days is larger, thus worse.

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.