Description of NASDAQ 100 Strategy

The Nasdaq 100 Strategy is a good way to ride the extraordinary momentum of the Nasdaq 100 Index while keeping some protection from market downturns. It is also a great alternative for stock-pickers looking for a rules-based stock selection strategy.

The strategy uses a risk-adjusted momentum algorithm to choose the top four Nasdaq 100 stocks with a variable allocation to treasuries or gold to smooth the equity curve and provide crash protection in bear markets. The strategy combines well with our more conservative strategies, such as the Bond Rotation Strategy or BUG, or with one of our non-U.S. equity strategies such as World Top 4, to form a well balanced portfolio.

The existence of price momentum has been heavily studied and well documented over the years. It reveals itself in assets that have strong absolute performance or performance relative to their peers. Logical Invest has exploited asset class and sector momentum in many of our strategies for years. We have found individual stock momentum tends to be an even stronger force, particularly in the top NASDAQ stocks. When properly identified, it can be capitalized on to provide an investment edge.

During bull markets, and especially "risk off" periods, the strongest NASDAQ stocks typically beat the market handily. However, they can also get ahead of themselves which makes them more vulnerable during "risk on" periods. To manage those challenges, the strategy incorporates several advanced methodologies:

  1. Mean Reversion - Momentum is based on the principle of buying high and selling higher, however, as most investors have experienced, stocks that rise too quickly can also have short-term corrections. The strategy uses a mean reversion component to penalize stocks that rise too much or too fast.
  2. Protection - The strategy allocates a portion to treasuries to balance out the supercharged Nasdaq momentum stocks. This improves risk adjusted returns and moderates strategy drawdowns. The model also allocates more to treasuries if the overall Nasdaq 100 index exhibits momentum weakness.
  3. Intelligent Ranking - Our algorithms ensures we get the right blend of stocks that work well together and have an allocation to each individual stock that reflects its volatility in relation to other stocks.
Methodology & Assets

The model chooses four individual stocks from the NASDAQ 100 stock index. So depending on what stocks are in the NASDAQ 100, the stock rotation formula might include the new ones.

Additionally, the model may allocate some funds to TMF (Direxion 3x leveraged 20-yr Treasury) or to UGLD (VelocityShares 3x Long Gold ETN). This helps mitigate risk during certain market environments.

You may also use one of the alternative versions:

NASDAQ 100 Balanced unhedged Strategy
NASDAQ 100 Leaders Strategy
NASDAQ 100 Low volatility Strategy

Statistics of NASDAQ 100 Strategy (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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (74.4%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return, or increase in value of 249.1% of NASDAQ 100 Strategy is higher, thus better.
  • Compared with SPY (48.6%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return of 75.8% is greater, thus better.

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • The annual return (CAGR) over 5 years of NASDAQ 100 Strategy is 28.4%, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (11.8%) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) is 20.7%, which is greater, thus better than the value of 14.1% 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 historical 30 days volatility of 16.6% in the last 5 years of NASDAQ 100 Strategy, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (13.5%)
  • Compared with SPY (12.8%) in the period of the last 3 years, the volatility of 15% is greater, thus worse.

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Looking at the downside volatility of 17.9% in the last 5 years of NASDAQ 100 Strategy, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (14.8%)
  • Looking at downside volatility in of 16.9% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to SPY (14.6%).

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:
  • Looking at the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of 1.56 in the last 5 years of NASDAQ 100 Strategy, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.69)
  • Looking at Sharpe Ratio in of 1.21 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to SPY (0.91).

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:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.63) in the period of the last 5 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 1.45 of NASDAQ 100 Strategy is higher, thus better.
  • Looking at excess return divided by the downside deviation in of 1.07 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to SPY (0.79).

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the Ulcer Index of 4.41 in the last 5 years of NASDAQ 100 Strategy, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (3.99 )
  • Compared with SPY (4.09 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Ulcer Ratio of 4.18 is higher, thus worse.

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The maximum DrawDown over 5 years of NASDAQ 100 Strategy is -13.7 days, which is higher, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (-19.3 days) in the same period.
  • Compared with SPY (-19.3 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum reduction from previous high of -12.4 days is greater, thus better.

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The maximum days below previous high over 5 years of NASDAQ 100 Strategy is 202 days, which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (187 days) in the same period.
  • Looking at maximum days under water in of 202 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to SPY (139 days).

AveDuration:

'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:
  • Looking at the average days below previous high of 40 days in the last 5 years of NASDAQ 100 Strategy, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (42 days)
  • During the last 3 years, the average days under water is 48 days, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 36 days from the benchmark.

Performance of NASDAQ 100 Strategy (YTD)

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.

Allocations of NASDAQ 100 Strategy
()

Allocations

Returns of NASDAQ 100 Strategy (%)

  • Note that yearly returns do not equal the sum of monthly returns due to compounding.
  • Performance results of NASDAQ 100 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.