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, 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 32.3%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (106.8%) in the same period.
  • Looking at total return, or increase in value in of 16.3% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (71.9%).

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:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (15.7%) in the period of the last 5 years, the annual return (CAGR) of 5.8% of Volatility less than 7% is lower, thus worse.
  • Compared with SPY (19.8%) in the period of the last 3 years, the annual performance (CAGR) of 5.2% is smaller, thus worse.

Volatility:

'In finance, volatility (symbol σ) is the degree of variation of a trading price series over time as measured by the standard deviation of logarithmic returns. Historic volatility measures a time series of past market prices. Implied volatility looks forward in time, being derived from the market price of a market-traded derivative (in particular, an option). Commonly, the higher the volatility, the riskier the security.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • The volatility over 5 years of Volatility less than 7% is 5.3%, which is smaller, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (18.9%) in the same period.
  • Looking at volatility in of 6% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (21.9%).

DownVol:

'Downside risk is the financial risk associated with losses. That is, it is the risk of the actual return being below the expected return, or the uncertainty about the magnitude of that difference. 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:
  • Looking at the downside volatility of 3.9% in the last 5 years of Volatility less than 7%, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (13.8%)
  • During the last 3 years, the downside deviation is 4.5%, which is lower, thus better than the value of 15.9% from the benchmark.

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of 0.62 in the last 5 years of Volatility less than 7%, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.69)
  • During the last 3 years, the Sharpe Ratio is 0.44, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.79 from the benchmark.

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:
  • The excess return divided by the downside deviation over 5 years of Volatility less than 7% is 0.84, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.95) in the same period.
  • Looking at downside risk / excess return profile in of 0.58 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (1.09).

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (5.61 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Ulcer Index of 2.44 of Volatility less than 7% is smaller, thus better.
  • Looking at Downside risk index in of 2.98 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (6.08 ).

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley of -10.9 days of Volatility less than 7% is higher, thus better.
  • Looking at maximum drop from peak to valley in of -10.9 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to SPY (-33.7 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.'

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 time in days below previous high water mark of 317 days of Volatility less than 7% is greater, thus worse.
  • During the last 3 years, the maximum days below previous high is 317 days, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 119 days from the benchmark.

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:
  • Looking at the average days under water of 82 days in the last 5 years of Volatility less than 7%, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (32 days)
  • During the last 3 years, the average days under water is 91 days, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 22 days from the benchmark.

Performance (YTD)

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.

Allocations ()

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.