Description

Recommended for: Capital accumulation, savers and investors 10-20 years from retirement. 

The Moderate Risk Portfolio is appropriate for an investor with a medium risk tolerance and a time horizon longer than five years. Moderate investors are willing to accept periods of moderate market volatility in exchange for the possibility of receiving returns that outpace inflation by a significant margin.

To be compatible with most retirement plans, this Portfolio does not include our Maximum Yield Strategy and leveraged Universal Investment Strategy. If you are using a more flexible account you can choose from our unconstrained portfolios in the Portfolio Library.

We also offer a version for 401k plans which do not allow individual stocks. See details here.

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 12%.

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 50%)
  • BUG Permanent Portfolio Strategy (BUG) (0% to 50%)
  • World Top 4 Strategy (WTOP4) (0% to 50%)
  • Global Sector Rotation Strategy (GSRS) (0% to 50%)
  • Global Market Rotation Strategy (GMRS) (0% to 50%)
  • NASDAQ 100 Strategy (NAS100) (0% to 50%)
  • US Sector Rotation Strategy (USSECT) (0% to 50%)
  • Universal Investment Strategy (UIS) (0% to 50%)
  • US Market Strategy (USMarket) (0% to 50%)
  • Dow 30 Strategy (DOW30) (0% to 50%)
  • Short Term Bond Strategy (STBS) (0% to 50%)

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (66.2%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return of 137.1% of Moderate Risk Portfolio is higher, thus better.
  • Looking at total return in of 68.7% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to SPY (36.8%).

CAGR:

'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:
  • The compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio is 18.8%, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (10.7%) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) is 19%, which is greater, thus better than the value of 11% 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 (19%) in the period of the last 5 years, the volatility of 9% of Moderate Risk Portfolio is smaller, thus better.
  • Looking at volatility in of 10.5% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (22%).

DownVol:

'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:
  • The downside deviation over 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio is 6.3%, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (13.9%) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the downside deviation is 7.4%, which is lower, thus better than the value of 16.1% 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Looking at the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of 1.81 in the last 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.43)
  • During the last 3 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) is 1.57, which is greater, thus better than the value of 0.39 from the benchmark.

Sortino:

'The Sortino ratio measures the risk-adjusted return of an investment asset, portfolio, or strategy. It is a modification of the Sharpe ratio but penalizes only those returns falling below a user-specified target or required rate of return, while the Sharpe ratio penalizes both upside and downside volatility equally. Though both ratios measure an investment's risk-adjusted return, they do so in significantly different ways that will frequently lead to differing conclusions as to the true nature of the investment's return-generating efficiency. The Sortino ratio is used as a way to compare the risk-adjusted performance of programs with differing risk and return profiles. In general, risk-adjusted returns seek to normalize the risk across programs and then see which has the higher return unit per risk.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.59) in the period of the last 5 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 2.61 of Moderate Risk Portfolio is larger, thus better.
  • Compared with SPY (0.53) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside risk / excess return profile of 2.23 is greater, thus better.

Ulcer:

'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:
  • Looking at the Ulcer Ratio of 1.98 in the last 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (5.9 )
  • Compared with SPY (6.98 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Ulcer Index of 2.36 is smaller, thus better.

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The maximum reduction from previous high over 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio is -16.8 days, which is higher, 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 -16.8 days is higher, thus better.

MaxDuration:

'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) in days.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Looking at the maximum days under water of 94 days in the last 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (187 days)
  • Compared with SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum days below previous high of 94 days is lower, thus better.

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:
  • Looking at the average days under water of 17 days in the last 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (44 days)
  • Compared with SPY (41 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average days under water of 18 days is lower, thus better.

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 Moderate Risk Portfolio 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.