Description

The classic permanent portfolio was created by Harry Browne. The idea was that a portfolio should be diversified enough to get you through a wide variety of economic and market environments and simple enough that even a child could do it. Originally it consisted of the following allocations:

  • 25% in U.S. stocks
  • 25% in long-term bonds
  • 25% in gold
  • 25% in cash

The Logical Invest permanent portfolio is somewhat more sophisticated, rebalances monthly and is not always split evenly across the three main assets. It can adapt to market conditions by putting more weight on gold or treasuries and less on equity depending on market conditions.

Methodology & Assets
  • US Market (SPY: S&P 500 SPDRs)
  • Long Duration Treasuries (TLT: iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond)
  • Gold (GLD: Gold Shares SPDR)

Statistics (YTD)

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

TotalReturn:

'Total return, when measuring performance, is the actual rate of return of an investment or a pool of investments over a given evaluation period. Total return includes interest, capital gains, dividends and distributions realized over a given period of time. Total return accounts for two categories of return: income including interest paid by fixed-income investments, distributions or dividends and capital appreciation, representing the change in the market price of an asset.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • The total return, or performance over 5 years of Enhanced Permanent Portfolio Strategy is 71.1%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (77.4%) in the same period.
  • Compared with SPY (43.3%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return, or increase in value of 42.6% is smaller, thus worse.

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over 5 years of Enhanced Permanent Portfolio Strategy is 11.3%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (12.1%) in the same period.
  • Compared with SPY (12.7%) in the period of the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) of 12.5% is lower, thus worse.

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (19%) in the period of the last 5 years, the historical 30 days volatility of 8.3% of Enhanced Permanent Portfolio Strategy is smaller, thus better.
  • Compared with SPY (22%) in the period of the last 3 years, the volatility of 9.1% 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • The downside volatility over 5 years of Enhanced Permanent Portfolio Strategy is 6%, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (13.9%) in the same period.
  • Compared with SPY (16.2%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside risk of 6.8% 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • The ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) over 5 years of Enhanced Permanent Portfolio Strategy is 1.07, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (0.51) in the same period.
  • Looking at Sharpe Ratio in of 1.1 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to SPY (0.46).

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 downside risk / excess return profile over 5 years of Enhanced Permanent Portfolio Strategy is 1.47, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (0.7) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the downside risk / excess return profile is 1.48, which is larger, thus better than the value of 0.63 from the benchmark.

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The Ulcer Index over 5 years of Enhanced Permanent Portfolio Strategy is 3.17 , which is smaller, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (5.87 ) in the same period.
  • Looking at Ulcer Index in of 3.65 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to SPY (7.01 ).

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum reduction from previous high of -17.4 days of Enhanced Permanent Portfolio Strategy is greater, thus better.
  • During the last 3 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley is -17.4 days, which is greater, thus better than the value of -33.7 days from the benchmark.

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 289 days in the last 5 years of Enhanced Permanent Portfolio Strategy, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (139 days)
  • Looking at maximum days below previous high in of 289 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, 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:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (37 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average days below previous high of 61 days of Enhanced Permanent Portfolio Strategy is greater, thus worse.
  • Looking at average days under water in of 79 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to SPY (45 days).

Performance (YTD)

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.

Allocations
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Allocations

Returns (%)

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