The Maximum Yield Rotation Strategy is a high-performing, high-risk investment strategy that rebalances twice a month. It trades one of the most profitable asset classes, volatility, by rebalancing a portfolio between two ETFs: ZIV (VelocityShares Inverse VIX Medium-Term ETF) and TMF (Direxion Daily 20+ Yr Treasury 3X ETF).

When you trade inverse volatility, which means going short VIX, you play the role of an insurer who sells worried investors an insurance policy to protect them from falling stock markets. Investing in inverse volatility means nothing more than taking over the risk and collecting this insurance premium from worried investors. This obviously needs to be done carefully by following a rules-based strategy.

This strategy is a good way to profit from VIX contango while minimizing heavy losses during volatility spikes. Since treasury bonds and inverse volatility have shown significant negative correlation to each other, the strategy reduces losses during financial crisis by switching early into treasuries. It is still a risky strategy and large drawdown are to be expected, so we recommend allocating no more than 15% of your overall portfolio.

For more information on trading "short volatility", read our original whitepaper on the topic.

'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 performance over 5 years of Maximum Yield Strategy is 145.7%, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (35.3%) in the same period.
- Looking at total return, or performance in of 46.8% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to SPY (13.2%).

'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:- Looking at the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.7% in the last 5 years of Maximum Yield Strategy, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (6.2%)
- Looking at annual return (CAGR) in of 13.6% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to SPY (4.2%).

'Volatility is a statistical measure of the dispersion of returns for a given security or market index. Volatility can either be measured by using the standard deviation or variance between returns from that same security or market index. Commonly, the higher the volatility, the riskier the security. In the securities markets, volatility is often associated with big swings in either direction. For example, when the stock market rises and falls more than one percent over a sustained period of time, it is called a 'volatile' market.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (18%) in the period of the last 5 years, the historical 30 days volatility of 25.3% of Maximum Yield Strategy is greater, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the volatility is 26.6%, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 20.3% from the benchmark.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the downside deviation of 18.7% in the last 5 years of Maximum Yield Strategy, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (13.4%)
- Compared with SPY (15.3%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside volatility of 20.4% is higher, thus worse.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the Sharpe Ratio of 0.68 in the last 5 years of Maximum Yield Strategy, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.21)
- Looking at ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) in of 0.42 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to SPY (0.09).

'The Sortino ratio improves upon the Sharpe ratio by isolating downside volatility from total volatility by dividing excess return by the downside deviation. The Sortino ratio is a variation of the Sharpe ratio that differentiates harmful volatility from total overall volatility by using the asset's standard deviation of negative asset returns, called downside deviation. The Sortino ratio takes the asset's return and subtracts the risk-free rate, and then divides that amount by the asset's downside deviation. The ratio was named after Frank A. Sortino.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 0.92 in the last 5 years of Maximum Yield Strategy, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.28)
- Compared with SPY (0.11) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside risk / excess return profile of 0.55 is larger, thus better.

'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:- The Ulcer Ratio over 5 years of Maximum Yield Strategy is 11 , which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (5.12 ) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the Ulcer Index is 12 , which is greater, thus worse than the value of 5.86 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:- Looking at the maximum drop from peak to valley of -44.6 days in the last 5 years of Maximum Yield Strategy, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days)
- Looking at maximum reduction from previous high in of -44.6 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (-33.7 days).

'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 SPY (187 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 346 days of Maximum Yield Strategy is greater, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum days below previous high is 346 days, which is greater, thus worse than the value of 139 days from the benchmark.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (42 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark of 75 days of Maximum Yield Strategy is greater, thus worse.
- Looking at average days under water in of 99 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to SPY (36 days).

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.
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- Note that yearly returns do not equal the sum of monthly returns due to compounding.
- Performance results of Maximum Yield 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.