Description of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy

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.

Methodology & Assets
  • 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

Statistics of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy (YTD)

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

TotalReturn:

'Total return is the amount of value an investor earns from a security over a specific period, typically one year, when all distributions are reinvested. Total return is expressed as a percentage of the amount invested. For example, a total return of 20% means the security increased by 20% of its original value due to a price increase, distribution of dividends (if a stock), coupons (if a bond) or capital gains (if a fund). Total return is a strong measure of an investment’s overall performance.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The total return, or performance over 5 years of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy is 198%, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (72.2%) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the total return, or performance is 86.3%, which is larger, thus better than the value of 48.3% from the benchmark.

CAGR:

'The compound annual growth rate isn't a true return rate, but rather a representational figure. It is essentially a number that describes the rate at which an investment would have grown if it had grown the same rate every year and the profits were reinvested at the end of each year. In reality, this sort of performance is unlikely. However, CAGR can be used to smooth returns so that they may be more easily understood when compared to alternative investments.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over 5 years of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy is 24.4%, which is higher, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (11.5%) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) is 23.1%, which is greater, thus better than the value of 14.1% from the benchmark.

Volatility:

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (13.2%) in the period of the last 5 years, the historical 30 days volatility of 22.9% of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy is greater, thus worse.
  • Looking at 30 days standard deviation in of 21.8% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to SPY (12.4%).

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the downside deviation of 25.4% in the last 5 years of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (14.5%)
  • Looking at downside risk in of 24.5% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to SPY (14.1%).

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:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.68) in the period of the last 5 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of 0.96 of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy is greater, thus better.
  • Looking at ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) in of 0.95 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to SPY (0.93).

Sortino:

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 0.86 in the last 5 years of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.62)
  • Looking at downside risk / excess return profile in of 0.84 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to SPY (0.82).

Ulcer:

'The ulcer index is a stock market risk measure or technical analysis indicator devised by Peter Martin in 1987, and published by him and Byron McCann in their 1989 book The Investors Guide to Fidelity Funds. It's designed as a measure of volatility, but only volatility in the downward direction, i.e. the amount of drawdown or retracement occurring over a period. Other volatility measures like standard deviation treat up and down movement equally, but a trader doesn't mind upward movement, it's the downside that causes stress and stomach ulcers that the index's name suggests.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (3.95 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Ulcer Ratio of 14 of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy is greater, thus better.
  • Compared with SPY (4 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Ulcer Index of 16 is greater, thus better.

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 reduction from previous high over 5 years of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy is -38.3 days, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (-19.3 days) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley is -38.3 days, which is lower, thus worse than the value of -19.3 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.'

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 under water of 311 days of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy is larger, thus worse.
  • Compared with SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 311 days is higher, thus worse.

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (41 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average days under water of 99 days of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy is larger, thus worse.
  • Looking at average days below previous high in of 91 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to SPY (36 days).

Performance of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy (YTD)

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.

Allocations of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy
()

Allocations

Returns of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy (%)

  • "Year" returns in the table above are not equal to the sum of monthly returns due to compounding.
  • Performance results of Leveraged Universal Investment 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.