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.

'The total return on a portfolio of investments takes into account not only the capital appreciation on the portfolio, but also the income received on the portfolio. The income typically consists of interest, dividends, and securities lending fees. This contrasts with the price return, which takes into account only the capital gain on an investment.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the total return, or increase in value of 138.4% in the last 5 years of Maximum Yield Strategy, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (81.7%)
- During the last 3 years, the total return, or increase in value is 55.6%, which is larger, thus better than the value of 54.7% 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over 5 years of Maximum Yield Strategy is 19%, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (12.7%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) is 15.8%, which is larger, thus better than the value of 15.6% from the benchmark.

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (13.3%) in the period of the last 5 years, the historical 30 days volatility of 25.1% of Maximum Yield Strategy is greater, thus worse.
- Looking at 30 days standard deviation in of 26% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to SPY (12.8%).

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The downside deviation over 5 years of Maximum Yield Strategy is 31%, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (14.8%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (14.8%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside risk of 34.4% is higher, thus worse.

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.76) in the period of the last 5 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of 0.66 of Maximum Yield Strategy is smaller, thus worse.
- Looking at Sharpe Ratio in of 0.51 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (1.03).

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The downside risk / excess return profile over 5 years of Maximum Yield Strategy is 0.53, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.69) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation is 0.39, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.89 from the benchmark.

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (3.97 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Ulcer Index of 19 of Maximum Yield Strategy is larger, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the Downside risk index is 23 , which is higher, thus worse than the value of 4.09 from the benchmark.

'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:- Looking at the maximum reduction from previous high of -50.1 days in the last 5 years of Maximum Yield Strategy, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse 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 reduction from previous high of -50.1 days is lower, thus worse.

'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.'

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 506 days of Maximum Yield Strategy is higher, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum days under water is 506 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The average days under water over 5 years of Maximum Yield Strategy is 130 days, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (42 days) in the same period.
- Looking at average days under water in of 191 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to SPY (37 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.