Description of Volatility less than 10%

This portfolio has been optimized for achieving the highest possible return while limiting the historical volatility to 10% or less over the analyzed period with the involved assets. As a reference, the volatility limit of 10% is about two thirds of the volatility, or risk, of the SPDR S&P 500 (SPY).

As such it is a conservative Portfolio suited for risk adverse investors with moderate growth expectations.

Please note that this portfolio might use leveraged ETF and single stocks. Should these not be allowed in your retirement account please see our 401k and IRS compatible Conservative, Moderate, and Aggressive Risk Portfolios. Contact us for special requirements.

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 10%.

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 100%)
  • BUG Permanent Portfolio Strategy (BUG) (0% to 100%)
  • World Top 4 Strategy (WTOP4) (0% to 100%)
  • Global Sector Rotation Strategy (GSRS) (0% to 100%)
  • Global Market Rotation Strategy (GMRS) (0% to 100%)
  • Maximum Yield Strategy (MYRS) (0% to 100%)
  • NASDAQ 100 Strategy (NAS100) (0% to 100%)
  • Leveraged Gold-Currency Strategy (GLD-USD) (0% to 100%)
  • US Sector Rotation Strategy (USSECT) (0% to 100%)
  • Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy (UISx3) (0% to 100%)
  • US Market Strategy (USMarket) (0% to 100%)
  • Dow 30 Strategy (DOW30) (0% to 100%)
  • Universal Investment Strategy (UIS) (0% to 100%)

Statistics of Volatility less than 10% (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, or increase in value over 5 years of Volatility less than 10% is 111.8%, which is higher, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (66.9%) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the total return, or performance is 47%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 50.6% 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:
  • Looking at the annual return (CAGR) of 16.2% in the last 5 years of Volatility less than 10%, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (10.8%)
  • Looking at annual return (CAGR) in of 13.7% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (14.7%).

Volatility:

'Volatility is a statistical measure of the dispersion of returns for a given security or market index. Volatility can either be measured by using the standard deviation or variance between returns from that same security or market index. Commonly, the higher the volatility, the riskier the security. In the securities markets, volatility is often associated with big swings in either direction. For example, when the stock market rises and falls more than one percent over a sustained period of time, it is called a 'volatile' market.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Looking at the 30 days standard deviation of 8.1% in the last 5 years of Volatility less than 10%, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (13.5%)
  • Compared with SPY (12.8%) in the period of the last 3 years, the historical 30 days volatility of 7.6% is lower, thus better.

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 deviation over 5 years of Volatility less than 10% is 9.1%, which is smaller, 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 deviation of 8.9% 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • The ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) over 5 years of Volatility less than 10% is 1.69, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (0.61) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) is 1.48, which is higher, thus better than the value of 0.95 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 downside risk / excess return profile over 5 years of Volatility less than 10% is 1.51, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (0.56) in the same period.
  • Compared with SPY (0.83) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside risk / excess return profile of 1.26 is greater, thus better.

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:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (3.99 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Ulcer Index of 1.94 of Volatility less than 10% is lower, thus better.
  • Compared with SPY (4.1 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Downside risk index of 2.17 is smaller, 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Looking at the maximum reduction from previous high of -6.4 days in the last 5 years of Volatility less than 10%, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (-19.3 days)
  • During the last 3 years, the maximum reduction from previous high is -6.2 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). Many assume Max DD Duration is the length of time between new highs during which the Max DD (magnitude) occurred. But that isn’t always the case. The Max DD duration is the longest time between peaks, period. So it could be the time when the program also had its biggest peak to valley loss (and usually is, because the program needs a long time to recover from the largest loss), but it doesn’t have to be'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • The maximum time in days below previous high water mark over 5 years of Volatility less than 10% is 185 days, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (187 days) in the same period.
  • Compared with SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum days below previous high of 185 days is greater, thus worse.

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The average days below previous high over 5 years of Volatility less than 10% is 32 days, which is smaller, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (42 days) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the average days under water is 43 days, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 36 days from the benchmark.

Performance of Volatility less than 10% (YTD)

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.

Allocations of Volatility less than 10%
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Allocations

Returns of Volatility less than 10% (%)

  • Note that yearly returns do not equal the sum of monthly returns due to compounding.
  • Performance results of Volatility less than 10% 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.