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:

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • The total return over 5 years of Volatility less than 10% is 139%, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (81.7%) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the total return is 79.3%, which is larger, thus better than the value of 54.7% 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Looking at the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.1% in the last 5 years of Volatility less than 10%, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (12.7%)
  • During the last 3 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) is 21.4%, which is greater, thus better than the value of 15.6% from the benchmark.

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (13.3%) in the period of the last 5 years, the volatility of 9.8% of Volatility less than 10% is lower, thus better.
  • During the last 3 years, the historical 30 days volatility is 9.8%, which is smaller, thus better than the value of 12.8% from the benchmark.

DownVol:

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

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the downside deviation of 11% in the last 5 years of Volatility less than 10%, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (14.8%)
  • Looking at downside deviation in of 11.4% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (14.8%).

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Looking at the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of 1.69 in the last 5 years of Volatility less than 10%, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.76)
  • Compared with SPY (1.03) in the period of the last 3 years, the Sharpe Ratio of 1.93 is larger, thus better.

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.69) in the period of the last 5 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 1.5 of Volatility less than 10% is greater, thus better.
  • During the last 3 years, the downside risk / excess return profile is 1.66, which is higher, thus better than the value of 0.89 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (3.97 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Downside risk index of 3.17 of Volatility less than 10% is lower, thus better.
  • During the last 3 years, the Ulcer Ratio is 3.46 , which is smaller, thus better than the value of 4.09 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • The maximum DrawDown over 5 years of Volatility less than 10% is -11 days, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (-19.3 days) in the same period.
  • Looking at maximum drop from peak to valley in of -11 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to SPY (-19.3 days).

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.'

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 130 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 130 days is lower, thus better.

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Looking at the average time in days below previous high water mark of 34 days in the last 5 years of Volatility less than 10%, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (42 days)
  • Compared with SPY (37 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average days below previous high of 32 days is lower, thus better.

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.