Description of Top 3 Strategies

This strategy selects the top three performers from our core strategies, based on the most recent 6 month performance, and allocates one third to each of them.

Note that very often the strategy will invest in the more aggressive of our strategies, which might not be suitable for all investors. You can create your version of this strategy with our Portfolio Builder. Simply select the top 2, 3, or 4 strategies and assign equal weights to each or adjust your allocations for your risk level. You will need to manually review and update the top performers periodically.

Methodology & Assets

All of our current strategies are included in the algorithm.

Statistics of Top 3 Strategies (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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Looking at the total return of 146.1% in the last 5 years of Top 3 Strategies, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (74.4%)
  • During the last 3 years, the total return, or performance is 71%, which is higher, thus better than the value of 47.2% from the benchmark.

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the annual return (CAGR) of 19.8% in the last 5 years of Top 3 Strategies, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (11.8%)
  • During the last 3 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) is 19.6%, which is larger, thus better than the value of 13.8% 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Looking at the 30 days standard deviation of 9.9% in the last 5 years of Top 3 Strategies, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (13.6%)
  • During the last 3 years, the historical 30 days volatility is 8.9%, which is lower, thus better than the value of 12.9% from the benchmark.

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 Top 3 Strategies is 11.4%, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (14.9%) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the downside risk is 10.4%, which is lower, thus better than the value of 14.6% from the benchmark.

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) over 5 years of Top 3 Strategies is 1.73, which is higher, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (0.68) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the Sharpe Ratio is 1.92, which is greater, thus better than the value of 0.88 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Looking at the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 1.51 in the last 5 years of Top 3 Strategies, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.62)
  • During the last 3 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation is 1.65, which is larger, thus better than the value of 0.77 from the benchmark.

Ulcer:

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (3.99 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Ulcer Index of 2.59 of Top 3 Strategies is smaller, thus better.
  • Compared with SPY (4.1 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Ulcer Index of 1.94 is lower, 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • The maximum drop from peak to valley over 5 years of Top 3 Strategies is -10.7 days, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (-19.3 days) in the same period.
  • Looking at maximum reduction from previous high in of -7.2 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to SPY (-19.3 days).

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 SPY (187 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 145 days of Top 3 Strategies is lower, thus better.
  • Looking at maximum days below previous high in of 134 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (139 days).

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:
  • Looking at the average days under water of 32 days in the last 5 years of Top 3 Strategies, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (41 days)
  • Looking at average days under water in of 31 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to SPY (36 days).

Performance of Top 3 Strategies (YTD)

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.

Allocations of Top 3 Strategies
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Allocations

Returns of Top 3 Strategies (%)

  • "Year" returns in the table above are not equal to the sum of monthly returns due to compounding.
  • Performance results of Top 3 Strategies 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.