Description of Dow 30 Strategy

The Dow 30 strategy is a good way to invest in the best of the Dow 30 blue chips while avoiding the old fashioned underperforming members of the Dow 30 index.

The strategy uses a risk-adjusted momentum algorithm to choose the top four Dow 30 stocks with a variable allocation to treasuries or gold to smooth the equity curve and provide crash protection in bear markets. The strategy combines well with our more conservative strategies, such as the Bond Rotation Strategy or BUG, or with one of our non-U.S. equity strategies such as World Top 4, to form a well balanced portfolio.

The performance of the Dow 30 strategy is quite similar to the simpler US Market Strategy, however in volatile markets like this year, the stock picking Dow 30 outperformed. Notably, the February drawdown was only half of the US Market Strategy as the Dow Strategy excludes high volatility stocks. 

Statistics of Dow 30 Strategy (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 DIA (87.9%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return of 103.7% of Dow 30 Strategy is higher, thus better.
  • Compared with DIA (57.6%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return, or performance of 69.4% is greater, thus better.

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Looking at the annual return (CAGR) of 15.3% in the last 5 years of Dow 30 Strategy, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to the benchmark DIA (13.5%)
  • During the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) is 19.2%, which is greater, thus better than the value of 16.4% 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 6.4% in the last 5 years of Dow 30 Strategy, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark DIA (13.4%)
  • Compared with DIA (13.2%) in the period of the last 3 years, the historical 30 days volatility of 6.3% is lower, thus better.

DownVol:

'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:
  • The downside risk over 5 years of Dow 30 Strategy is 7.1%, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark DIA (15.1%) in the same period.
  • Looking at downside deviation in of 7.5% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to DIA (15.2%).

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Looking at the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of 2.01 in the last 5 years of Dow 30 Strategy, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to the benchmark DIA (0.82)
  • Compared with DIA (1.05) in the period of the last 3 years, the Sharpe Ratio of 2.64 is larger, thus better.

Sortino:

'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 1.79 in the last 5 years of Dow 30 Strategy, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to the benchmark DIA (0.73)
  • Looking at ratio of annual return and downside deviation in of 2.21 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to DIA (0.91).

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • The Downside risk index over 5 years of Dow 30 Strategy is 1.32 , which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark DIA (4.24 ) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the Downside risk index is 0.96 , which is smaller, thus better than the value of 4.23 from the benchmark.

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • The maximum reduction from previous high over 5 years of Dow 30 Strategy is -6 days, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark DIA (-18.1 days) in the same period.
  • Compared with DIA (-18.1 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley of -6 days is greater, thus better.

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 DIA (227 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum days below previous high of 149 days of Dow 30 Strategy is lower, thus better.
  • During the last 3 years, the maximum days below previous high is 57 days, which is smaller, thus better than the value of 161 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:
  • Compared with the benchmark DIA (55 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average days below previous high of 22 days of Dow 30 Strategy is smaller, thus better.
  • Compared with DIA (45 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average days under water of 11 days is lower, thus better.

Performance of Dow 30 Strategy (YTD)

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.

Allocations of Dow 30 Strategy
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Allocations

Returns of Dow 30 Strategy (%)

  • Note that yearly returns do not equal the sum of monthly returns due to compounding.
  • Performance results of Dow 30 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.