**Recommended for:** Capital preservation, liquidity and for investors close to or in retirement.

The Conservative Portfolio is appropriate for an investor with a low risk tolerance or a need to make withdrawals over the next 1 to 3 years. Conservative investors are willing to accept lower returns in exchange for lower account drawdowns in periods of market volatility.

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 offer a portfolio version for 401k plans which do not allow individual stocks - this is set with a moderate risk level, but actually results in a volatility which might also be acceptable for those looking for a conservative set. See details here.

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 40%)
- BUG Permanent Portfolio Strategy (BUG) (0% to 40%)
- Global Market Rotation Strategy (GMRS) (0% to 40%)
- Global Sector Rotation Strategy (GSRS) (0% to 40%)
- Hedge Strategy (HEDGE) (0% to 40%)
- Short Term Bond Strategy (STBS) (0% to 50%)
- Universal Investment Strategy (UIS) (0% to 40%)
- US Market Strategy (USMarket) (0% to 40%)
- US Sector Rotation Strategy (USSECT) (0% to 40%)
- World Top 4 Strategy (WTOP4) (0% to 40%)

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The total return over 5 years of Conservative Risk Portfolio is 64.4%, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (57.1%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the total return, or increase in value is 19.2%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 32% from the benchmark.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The annual performance (CAGR) over 5 years of Conservative Risk Portfolio is 10.5%, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (9.5%) in the same period.
- Looking at annual return (CAGR) in of 6% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (9.7%).

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (21.5%) in the period of the last 5 years, the 30 days standard deviation of 7.2% of Conservative Risk Portfolio is lower, thus better.
- Looking at 30 days standard deviation in of 5.1% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (17.9%).

'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:- Looking at the downside volatility of 5.2% in the last 5 years of Conservative Risk Portfolio, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (15.5%)
- During the last 3 years, the downside risk is 3.5%, which is lower, thus better than the value of 12.5% 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 (0.32) in the period of the last 5 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of 1.11 of Conservative Risk Portfolio is higher, thus better.
- Compared with SPY (0.41) in the period of the last 3 years, the Sharpe Ratio of 0.7 is larger, thus better.

'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:- The excess return divided by the downside deviation over 5 years of Conservative Risk Portfolio is 1.54, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (0.45) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation is 1.03, which is greater, thus better than the value of 0.58 from the benchmark.

'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:- Looking at the Downside risk index of 2.08 in the last 5 years of Conservative Risk Portfolio, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (9.57 )
- During the last 3 years, the Ulcer Index is 1.9 , which is lower, thus better than the value of 10 from the benchmark.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley of -14.8 days of Conservative Risk Portfolio is higher, thus better.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley is -5.2 days, which is larger, thus better than the value of -24.5 days from the benchmark.

'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:- Looking at the maximum days below previous high of 227 days in the last 5 years of Conservative Risk Portfolio, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (439 days)
- Compared with SPY (439 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum days under water of 227 days is lower, thus better.

'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:- The average days below previous high over 5 years of Conservative Risk Portfolio is 43 days, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (106 days) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (149 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average days below previous high of 54 days is lower, thus better.

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.
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Allocations and holdings shown below are delayed by one month.

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- Note that yearly returns do not equal the sum of monthly returns due to compounding.
- Performance results of Conservative 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.