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%)
- 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%)

'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.'

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 35%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (122.1%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (64.6%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return of 20.3% is lower, thus worse.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.2% in the last 5 years of Volatility less than 7%, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (17.3%)
- Compared with SPY (18.1%) in the period of the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) of 6.4% is lower, thus worse.

'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:- Looking at the 30 days standard deviation of 5.3% in the last 5 years of Volatility less than 7%, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (18.7%)
- Looking at volatility in of 5.8% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (22.5%).

'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:- The downside deviation over 5 years of Volatility less than 7% is 3.9%, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (13.6%) in the same period.
- Looking at downside volatility in of 4.4% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (16.4%).

'The Sharpe ratio (also known as the Sharpe index, the Sharpe measure, and the reward-to-variability ratio) is a way to examine the performance of an investment by adjusting for its risk. The ratio measures the excess return (or risk premium) per unit of deviation in an investment asset or a trading strategy, typically referred to as risk, named after William F. Sharpe.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.79) in the period of the last 5 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of 0.7 of Volatility less than 7% is smaller, thus worse.
- Looking at Sharpe Ratio in of 0.66 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.69).

'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:- Looking at the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 0.95 in the last 5 years of Volatility less than 7%, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (1.09)
- During the last 3 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation is 0.88, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.95 from the benchmark.

'The ulcer index is a stock market risk measure or technical analysis indicator devised by Peter Martin in 1987, and published by him and Byron McCann in their 1989 book The Investors Guide to Fidelity Funds. It's designed as a measure of volatility, but only volatility in the downward direction, i.e. the amount of drawdown or retracement occurring over a period. Other volatility measures like standard deviation treat up and down movement equally, but a trader doesn't mind upward movement, it's the downside that causes stress and stomach ulcers that the index's name suggests.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The Downside risk index over 5 years of Volatility less than 7% is 2.46 , which is smaller, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (5.58 ) in the same period.
- Looking at Ulcer Index in of 2.96 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to SPY (6.83 ).

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the maximum reduction from previous high of -10.9 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)
- Looking at maximum DrawDown in of -10.9 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to SPY (-33.7 days).

'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:- The maximum days below previous high over 5 years of Volatility less than 7% is 245 days, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (139 days) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum days below previous high is 245 days, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 139 days from the benchmark.

'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:- The average time in days below previous high water mark over 5 years of Volatility less than 7% is 67 days, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (33 days) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark is 65 days, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 35 days from the benchmark.

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.