IMPORTANT: This strategy may use a leveraged GLD position which may cause the total allocation of the strategy to exceed 100%. See more information in this article.

The 3X Universal Investment Strategy (UISx3) is a leveraged version of our core Universal Investment Strategy (UIS), an evolved, intelligent version of the classic 60/40 equity/bond portfolio that can adapt to current conditions, shifting portfolio weight away from stocks in difficult markets and adding weight to equity in bull runs.

The 3x leveraged version of the strategy employs SPXL and TMF, which are the leveraged versions of the S&P 500 ETF, the Treasury 20+ year ETF. Since there is currently no leveraged gold ETF the strategy uses a triple position in GLD. Unlike the base UIS, the leveraged version only uses TMF and GLD to hedge SPXL exposure.

The UISx3 is appropriate for investors who are comfortable taking on higher risks in exchange for the potential for of higher returns. Because leveraged ETFs are used, we recommend allocating no more than 15% of your total portfolio to this strategy.

- SPXL - Direxion Daily S&P 500 Bull 3X Shares ETF
- TMF - Direxion Daily 30-Year Treasury Bull 3x Shares ETF
- GLD - SPDR Gold Trust

'The total return on a portfolio of investments takes into account not only the capital appreciation on the portfolio, but also the income received on the portfolio. The income typically consists of interest, dividends, and securities lending fees. This contrasts with the price return, which takes into account only the capital gain on an investment.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the total return, or increase in value of 190.9% in the last 5 years of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (102%)
- During the last 3 years, the total return, or increase in value is 34.4%, which is higher, thus better than the value of 31.5% from the benchmark.

'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:- Looking at the annual return (CAGR) of 23.8% in the last 5 years of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (15.1%)
- During the last 3 years, the annual performance (CAGR) is 10.4%, which is higher, thus better than the value of 9.6% from the benchmark.

'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 Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is 27.2%, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (20.9%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the volatility is 24.9%, which is greater, thus worse than the value of 17.6% from the benchmark.

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (14.9%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside deviation of 19.1% of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is higher, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the downside volatility is 17.2%, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 12.4% from the benchmark.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.6) in the period of the last 5 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of 0.79 of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is higher, thus better.
- Compared with SPY (0.4) in the period of the last 3 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of 0.32 is smaller, thus worse.

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 1.12 in the last 5 years of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.84)
- Compared with SPY (0.57) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside risk / excess return profile of 0.46 is smaller, thus worse.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the Downside risk index of 16 in the last 5 years of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (9.32 )
- Looking at Ulcer Ratio in of 20 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to SPY (10 ).

'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:- Looking at the maximum DrawDown of -38.4 days in the last 5 years of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days)
- Looking at maximum drop from peak to valley in of -38.4 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (-24.5 days).

'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'

Which means for our asset as example:- The maximum days under water over 5 years of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is 525 days, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (488 days) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (488 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum days below previous high of 525 days is higher, thus worse.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (123 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark of 139 days of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is greater, thus worse.
- Looking at average days below previous high in of 194 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to SPY (177 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 Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage are hypothetical and do not account for slippage, fees or taxes.
- Results may be based on backtesting, which has many inherent limitations, some of which are described in our Terms of Use.