Description

The BUG strategy is one of our more conservative strategies. The strategy does not attempt to predict prices or the future state of the economy. It holds a broad diversified number of assets that complement each other, each performing well in a different economic environment such as inflation, deflation, growth and stagnation. It is meant for long term, steady growth and low risk.

It inherits part of its logic from Harry Browne's tried-and-true Permanent Portfolio and the publicized workings of the All-Weather portfolio.

The strategy has been updated (as of May 1st, 2020) to allocate 40%-60% to our HEDGE sub-strategy. The statistics below reflect the updated model.

Methodology & Assets
  • US Market (SPY: S&P 500 SPDRs)
  • Long Duration Treasuries (TLT: iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond)
  • Gold (GLD: Gold Shares SPDR)
  • Cash or equivalent (SHY: 1-3 Year Treasury Bonds)
  • Convertible Bonds (CWB: SPDR Barclays Convertible Securities)
  • Inflation Protected Treasuries (TIP: iShares TIPS Bond Fund)
  • Foreign Bonds (PCY: PowerShares Emerging Markets Sovereign Bond)

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:
  • Compared with the benchmark AGG (16.6%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return, or performance of 58.5% of BUG Permanent Portfolio Strategy is higher, thus better.
  • Compared with AGG (15.3%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return of 28.8% is larger, thus better.

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 compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over 5 years of BUG Permanent Portfolio Strategy is 9.7%, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark AGG (3.1%) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the annual performance (CAGR) is 8.8%, which is higher, thus better than the value of 4.9% 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the historical 30 days volatility of 7.3% in the last 5 years of BUG Permanent Portfolio Strategy, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark AGG (4.6%)
  • Looking at 30 days standard deviation in of 8.6% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to AGG (5.5%).

DownVol:

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

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • The downside risk over 5 years of BUG Permanent Portfolio Strategy is 5.5%, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark AGG (3.5%) in the same period.
  • Looking at downside volatility in of 6.6% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to AGG (4.2%).

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • The risk / return profile (Sharpe) over 5 years of BUG Permanent Portfolio Strategy is 0.98, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark AGG (0.13) in the same period.
  • Looking at risk / return profile (Sharpe) in of 0.73 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to AGG (0.43).

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Looking at the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 1.3 in the last 5 years of BUG Permanent Portfolio Strategy, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to the benchmark AGG (0.18)
  • Looking at excess return divided by the downside deviation in of 0.95 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to AGG (0.56).

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 2.56 in the last 5 years of BUG Permanent Portfolio Strategy, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark AGG (1.73 )
  • During the last 3 years, the Ulcer Ratio is 2.73 , which is higher, thus worse than the value of 1.26 from the benchmark.

MaxDD:

'Maximum drawdown measures the loss in any losing period during a fund’s investment record. It is defined as the percent retrenchment from a fund’s peak value to the fund’s valley value. The drawdown is in effect from the time the fund’s retrenchment begins until a new fund high is reached. The maximum drawdown encompasses both the period from the fund’s peak to the fund’s valley (length), and the time from the fund’s valley to a new fund high (recovery). It measures the largest percentage drawdown that has occurred in any fund’s data record.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Compared with the benchmark AGG (-9.6 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley of -18.6 days of BUG Permanent Portfolio Strategy is smaller, thus worse.
  • Compared with AGG (-9.6 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum reduction from previous high of -18.6 days is smaller, thus worse.

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). 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'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Compared with the benchmark AGG (331 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 247 days of BUG Permanent Portfolio Strategy is lower, thus better.
  • During the last 3 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark is 100 days, which is lower, thus better than the value of 171 days from the benchmark.

AveDuration:

'The Average 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. 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 AGG (103 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average days under water of 49 days of BUG Permanent Portfolio Strategy is lower, thus better.
  • Looking at average time in days below previous high water mark in of 31 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to AGG (37 days).

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 BUG Permanent Portfolio Strategy 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.