Description of Moderate Risk Portfolio

Recommended for: Capital accumulation, savers and investors 10-20 years from retirement. 

The Moderate Risk Portfolio is appropriate for an investor with a medium risk tolerance and a time horizon longer than five years. Moderate investors are willing to accept periods of moderate market volatility in exchange for the possibility of receiving returns that outpace inflation by a significant margin.

To be compatible with most retirement plans, this Portfolio does not include our Maximum Yield Strategy and leveraged Universal Investment Strategy. If you are using a more flexible account you can choose from our unconstrained portfolios in the Portfolio Library.

We also offer a version for 401k plans which do not allow individual stocks. See details here.

Methodology & Assets
This portfolio is constructed by our proprietary optimization algorithm based on Modern Portfolio Theory pioneered by Nobel Laureate Harry Markowitz. Using historical returns, the algorithm finds the asset allocation that produced the highest return with volatility less than 12%.

While this portfolio provides an optimized asset allocation based on historical returns, your investment objectives, risk profile and personal experience are important factors when deciding on the best investment vehicle for yourself. You can also use the Portfolio Builder or Portfolio Optimizer to construct your own personalized portfolio.

Assets and weight constraints used in the optimizer process:
  • Bond ETF Rotation Strategy (BRS) (0% to 50%)
  • BUG Permanent Portfolio Strategy (BUG) (0% to 50%)
  • World Top 4 Strategy (WTOP4) (0% to 50%)
  • Global Sector Rotation Strategy (GSRS) (0% to 50%)
  • Global Market Rotation Strategy (GMRS) (0% to 50%)
  • NASDAQ 100 Strategy (NAS100) (0% to 50%)
  • US Sector Rotation Strategy (USSECT) (0% to 50%)
  • Universal Investment Strategy (UIS) (0% to 50%)
  • US Market Strategy (USMarket) (0% to 50%)
  • Dow 30 Strategy (DOW30) (0% to 50%)
  • Short Term Bond Strategy (STBS) (0% to 50%)

Statistics of Moderate Risk Portfolio (YTD)

What do these metrics mean? [Read More] [Hide]

TotalReturn:

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The total return, or performance over 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio is 132.4%, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (67.1%) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the total return is 54.4%, which is larger, thus better than the value of 51.3% from the benchmark.

CAGR:

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Looking at the annual return (CAGR) of 18.4% in the last 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (10.8%)
  • Looking at compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) in of 15.6% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to SPY (14.8%).

Volatility:

'In finance, volatility (symbol σ) is the degree of variation of a trading price series over time as measured by the standard deviation of logarithmic returns. Historic volatility measures a time series of past market prices. Implied volatility looks forward in time, being derived from the market price of a market-traded derivative (in particular, an option). Commonly, the higher the volatility, the riskier the security.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • The volatility over 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio is 9.8%, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (13.5%) in the same period.
  • Compared with SPY (12.8%) in the period of the last 3 years, the historical 30 days volatility of 9.3% is lower, thus better.

DownVol:

'Downside risk is the financial risk associated with losses. That is, it is the risk of the actual return being below the expected return, or the uncertainty about the magnitude of that difference. 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:
  • The downside volatility over 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio is 11.1%, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (14.8%) in the same period.
  • Compared with SPY (14.7%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside risk of 10.9% is lower, thus better.

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 Moderate Risk Portfolio is 1.62, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (0.62) in the same period.
  • Compared with SPY (0.96) in the period of the last 3 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of 1.42 is greater, thus better.

Sortino:

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Looking at the downside risk / excess return profile of 1.43 in the last 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.56)
  • Compared with SPY (0.84) in the period of the last 3 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 1.2 is higher, thus better.

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (3.99 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Downside risk index of 2.34 of Moderate Risk Portfolio is smaller, thus better.
  • Looking at Ulcer Ratio in of 2.58 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (4.1 ).

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:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (-19.3 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum DrawDown of -9.1 days of Moderate Risk Portfolio is greater, thus better.
  • Compared with SPY (-19.3 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley of -7.6 days is higher, 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). 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:
  • Looking at the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 134 days in the last 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (187 days)
  • Looking at maximum time in days below previous high water mark in of 134 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Looking at the average time in days below previous high water mark of 28 days in the last 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (42 days)
  • Compared with SPY (36 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average days below previous high of 36 days is larger, thus worse.

Performance of Moderate Risk Portfolio (YTD)

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.

Allocations of Moderate Risk Portfolio
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Allocations

Returns of Moderate Risk Portfolio (%)

  • Note that yearly returns do not equal the sum of monthly returns due to compounding.
  • Performance results of Moderate Risk Portfolio 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.