This portfolio has been optimized for achieving the highest possible return while limiting the historical volatility to 7% or less over the analyzed period with the involved assets. The volatility limit of 7% equals about half the volatility, or risk, of the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF - TLT.

As such it is a very conservative Portfolio suited for very risk adverse investors with conservative 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.

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%)
- Global Market Rotation Strategy (GMRS) (0% to 100%)
- Global Sector Rotation Strategy (GSRS) (0% to 100%)
- Maximum Yield Strategy (MYRS) (0% to 100%)
- Short Term Bond Strategy (STBS) (0% to 50%)
- Universal Investment Strategy (UIS) (0% to 100%)
- Universal Investment Strategy 2x Leverage (UISx2) (0% to 100%)
- US Market Strategy (USMarket) (0% to 100%)
- US Market Strategy 2x Leverage (USMx2) (0% to 100%)
- US Sector Rotation Strategy (USSECT) (0% to 100%)
- World Top 4 Strategy (WTOP4) (0% to 100%)

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The total return, or increase in value over 5 years of Volatility less than 7% is 59.3%, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (60.6%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (38%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return, or performance of 22.3% is smaller, thus worse.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (10%) in the period of the last 5 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.8% of Volatility less than 7% is lower, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (11.3%) in the period of the last 3 years, the annual performance (CAGR) of 6.9% is lower, thus worse.

'Volatility is a rate at which the price of a security increases or decreases for a given set of returns. Volatility is measured by calculating the standard deviation of the annualized returns over a given period of time. It shows the range to which the price of a security may increase or decrease. Volatility measures the risk of a security. It is used in option pricing formula to gauge the fluctuations in the returns of the underlying assets. Volatility indicates the pricing behavior of the security and helps estimate the fluctuations that may happen in a short period of time.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the volatility of 6.5% in the last 5 years of Volatility less than 7%, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (21.5%)
- Looking at volatility in of 5% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to SPY (17.9%).

'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 (15.5%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside risk of 4.7% of Volatility less than 7% is lower, thus better.
- Looking at downside risk in of 3.4% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (12.5%).

'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 (0.35) in the period of the last 5 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of 1.12 of Volatility less than 7% is greater, thus better.
- Looking at risk / return profile (Sharpe) in of 0.88 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to SPY (0.49).

'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 (0.48) in the period of the last 5 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 1.54 of Volatility less than 7% is larger, thus better.
- During the last 3 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation is 1.31, which is higher, thus better than the value of 0.71 from the benchmark.

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The Downside risk index over 5 years of Volatility less than 7% is 1.83 , which is smaller, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (9.55 ) in the same period.
- Looking at Ulcer Index in of 1.63 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (10 ).

'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:- Looking at the maximum DrawDown of -13.6 days in the last 5 years of Volatility less than 7%, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days)
- During the last 3 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley is -4.7 days, which is higher, thus better than the value of -24.5 days from the benchmark.

'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'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the maximum days under water of 300 days in the last 5 years of Volatility less than 7%, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (431 days)
- Compared with SPY (431 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 300 days is lower, thus better.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (105 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average days under water of 59 days of Volatility less than 7% is lower, thus better.
- Looking at average time in days below previous high water mark in of 79 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to SPY (144 days).

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.
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- Note that yearly returns do not equal the sum of monthly returns due to compounding.
- Performance results of Volatility less than 7% 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.