Description of Top 3 Strategies

This strategy selects the top three performers from our core strategies, based on the most recent 3 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 is the amount of value an investor earns from a security over a specific period, typically one year, when all distributions are reinvested. Total return is expressed as a percentage of the amount invested. For example, a total return of 20% means the security increased by 20% of its original value due to a price increase, distribution of dividends (if a stock), coupons (if a bond) or capital gains (if a fund). Total return is a strong measure of an investment’s overall performance.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The total return, or increase in value over 5 years of Top 3 Strategies is 133.9%, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (64%) in the same period.
  • Compared with SPY (51.6%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return, or increase in value of 71.6% is higher, 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.5% in the last 5 years of Top 3 Strategies, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (10.4%)
  • Compared with SPY (14.9%) in the period of the last 3 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.7% is greater, thus better.

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The 30 days standard deviation over 5 years of Top 3 Strategies is 10.1%, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (13.4%) in the same period.
  • Compared with SPY (12.5%) in the period of the last 3 years, the volatility of 9.4% is lower, thus better.

DownVol:

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Looking at the downside volatility of 11.4% in the last 5 years of Top 3 Strategies, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (14.6%)
  • During the last 3 years, the downside risk is 10.9%, which is smaller, thus better than the value of 14% from the benchmark.

Sharpe:

'The Sharpe ratio was developed by Nobel laureate William F. Sharpe, and is used to help investors understand the return of an investment compared to its risk. The ratio is the average return earned in excess of the risk-free rate per unit of volatility or total risk. Subtracting the risk-free rate from the mean return allows an investor to better isolate the profits associated with risk-taking activities. One intuition of this calculation is that a portfolio engaging in 'zero risk' investments, such as the purchase of U.S. Treasury bills (for which the expected return is the risk-free rate), has a Sharpe ratio of exactly zero. Generally, the greater the value of the Sharpe ratio, the more attractive the risk-adjusted return.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The risk / return profile (Sharpe) over 5 years of Top 3 Strategies is 1.59, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (0.59) in the same period.
  • Looking at ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) in of 1.83 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to SPY (1).

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:
  • The ratio of annual return and downside deviation over 5 years of Top 3 Strategies is 1.41, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (0.54) in the same period.
  • Looking at ratio of annual return and downside deviation in of 1.59 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to SPY (0.89).

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (3.99 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Ulcer Ratio of 2.88 of Top 3 Strategies is smaller, thus better.
  • Looking at Ulcer Ratio in of 2.39 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to SPY (4.04 ).

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the maximum DrawDown of -10.7 days in the last 5 years of Top 3 Strategies, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (-19.3 days)
  • Compared with SPY (-19.3 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum DrawDown of -8.3 days is larger, thus better.

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) in days.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (187 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum days below previous high of 182 days of Top 3 Strategies is lower, thus better.
  • During the last 3 years, the maximum days under water is 182 days, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 139 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Looking at the average days under water of 36 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)
  • During the last 3 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark is 38 days, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 36 days from the benchmark.

Performance of Top 3 Strategies (YTD)

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.

Allocations of Top 3 Strategies
()

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.