Due to announced delisting of UGLD as of July 12, 2020, with last trading day July 2, 2020, we're replacing UGLD by a leveraged GLD position. Therefore the total allocation of the strategy can exceed 100%. See more information in this article.

The 3X Universal Investment Strategy (UISx3) is a leveraged version of our core Universal Investment Strategy (UIS), an evolved, intelligent version of the classic 60/40 equity/bond portfolio that can adapt to current conditions, shifting portfolio weight away from stocks in difficult markets and adding weight to equity in bull runs.

The 3x leveraged version of the strategy employs SPXL, TMF and UGLD, which are the leveraged versions of the S&P 500 ETF, the Treasury 20+ year ETF and the Gold ETF. Unlike the base UIS, the leveraged version only uses TMF and UGLD to hedge SPXL exposure.

The UISx3 is appropriate for investors who are comfortable taking on higher risks in exchange for the potential for of higher returns. Because leveraged ETFs are used, we recommend allocating no more than 15% of your total portfolio to this strategy.

- SPXL - Direxion Daily S&P 500 Bull 3X Shares ETF
- TMF - Direxion Daily 30-Year Treasury Bull 3x Shares ETF
- UGLD - VelocityShares 3x Long Gold ETN

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (84.3%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return, or performance of 421.1% of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is greater, thus better.
- Looking at total return, or performance in of 171% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to SPY (37.3%).

'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:- The annual return (CAGR) over 5 years of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is 39.1%, which is higher, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (13%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (11.1%) in the period of the last 3 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 39.4% is higher, thus better.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (18.8%) in the period of the last 5 years, the historical 30 days volatility of 25.5% of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is higher, thus worse.
- Looking at volatility in of 28.5% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to SPY (22.3%).

'The downside volatility is similar to the volatility, or standard deviation, but only takes losing/negative periods into account.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (13.7%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside deviation of 18% of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is higher, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (16.5%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside deviation of 20.4% is greater, 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The risk / return profile (Sharpe) over 5 years of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is 1.44, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (0.56) in the same period.
- Looking at ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) in of 1.29 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to SPY (0.39).

'The Sortino ratio, a variation of the Sharpe ratio only factors in the downside, or negative volatility, rather than the total volatility used in calculating the Sharpe ratio. The theory behind the Sortino variation is that upside volatility is a plus for the investment, and it, therefore, should not be included in the risk calculation. Therefore, the Sortino ratio takes upside volatility out of the equation and uses only the downside standard deviation in its calculation instead of the total standard deviation that is used in calculating the Sharpe ratio.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.77) in the period of the last 5 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 2.04 of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is larger, thus better.
- Looking at downside risk / excess return profile in of 1.81 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to SPY (0.52).

'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:- Looking at the Ulcer Ratio of 7.85 in the last 5 years of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (5.78 )
- During the last 3 years, the Ulcer Ratio is 8.6 , which is greater, thus worse than the value of 7.08 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the maximum reduction from previous high of -40.7 days in the last 5 years of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days)
- During the last 3 years, the maximum DrawDown is -40.7 days, which is smaller, thus worse than the value of -33.7 days from the benchmark.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the maximum days under water of 265 days in the last 5 years of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (139 days)
- During the last 3 years, the maximum days below previous high is 265 days, which is greater, thus worse than the value of 139 days from the benchmark.

'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:- The average days under water over 5 years of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is 50 days, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (37 days) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (45 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average days under water of 65 days is higher, thus worse.

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 Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage 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.