Description

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.

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 7%.

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%)
  • Leveraged Gold-Currency Strategy (GLD-USD) (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%)
  • 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%)

Statistics (YTD)

What do these metrics mean? [Read More] [Hide]

TotalReturn:

'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 performance over 5 years of Volatility less than 7% is 49.5%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (72.5%) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the total return, or performance is 18.5%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 34.1% from the benchmark.

CAGR:

'Compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is a business and investing specific term for the geometric progression ratio that provides a constant rate of return over the time period. CAGR is not an accounting term, but it is often used to describe some element of the business, for example revenue, units delivered, registered users, etc. CAGR dampens the effect of volatility of periodic returns that can render arithmetic means irrelevant. It is particularly useful to compare growth rates from various data sets of common domain such as revenue growth of companies in the same industry.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The annual performance (CAGR) over 5 years of Volatility less than 7% is 8.4%, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (11.5%) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) is 5.8%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 10.3% from the benchmark.

Volatility:

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • The volatility over 5 years of Volatility less than 7% is 5.5%, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (18.9%) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the 30 days standard deviation is 5.8%, which is lower, thus better than the value of 22.6% from the benchmark.

DownVol:

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

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (13.8%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside deviation of 3.9% of Volatility less than 7% is lower, thus better.
  • During the last 3 years, the downside volatility is 4.3%, which is smaller, thus better than the value of 16.7% 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Looking at the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of 1.06 in the last 5 years of Volatility less than 7%, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.48)
  • Looking at ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) in of 0.58 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to SPY (0.34).

Sortino:

'The Sortino ratio improves upon the Sharpe ratio by isolating downside volatility from total volatility by dividing excess return by the downside deviation. The Sortino ratio is a variation of the Sharpe ratio that differentiates harmful volatility from total overall volatility by using the asset's standard deviation of negative asset returns, called downside deviation. The Sortino ratio takes the asset's return and subtracts the risk-free rate, and then divides that amount by the asset's downside deviation. The ratio was named after Frank A. Sortino.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.65) in the period of the last 5 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 1.5 of Volatility less than 7% is higher, thus better.
  • Compared with SPY (0.47) in the period of the last 3 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 0.77 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:
  • The Ulcer Ratio over 5 years of Volatility less than 7% is 2.02 , which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (5.83 ) in the same period.
  • Looking at Ulcer Ratio in of 2.33 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (7.13 ).

MaxDD:

'A maximum drawdown is the maximum loss from a peak to a trough of a portfolio, before a new peak is attained. Maximum Drawdown is an indicator of downside risk over a specified time period. It can be used both as a stand-alone measure or as an input into other metrics such as 'Return over Maximum Drawdown' and the Calmar Ratio. Maximum Drawdown is expressed in percentage terms.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The maximum reduction from previous high over 5 years of Volatility less than 7% is -10.9 days, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the same period.
  • Compared with SPY (-33.7 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum reduction from previous high of -10.9 days is higher, thus better.

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum days below previous high of 233 days of Volatility less than 7% is higher, thus worse.
  • Compared with SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum days under water of 233 days is larger, 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (37 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average days below previous high of 45 days of Volatility less than 7% is greater, thus worse.
  • Compared with SPY (45 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark of 60 days is greater, 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 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.