The U.S. Market Strategy was designed as an alternative to our Universal Investment Strategy which allocates between SPY (S&P 500 ETF) and TLT (U.S. Treasuries ETF). The equity component of this new strategy switches between SPY (S&P500), QQQ (Nasdaq 100), DIA (Dow 30) and SPLV (S&P 500 low volatility) so it can take advantage of different market conditions. The addition of SPLV provides a good defensive option in times of high market volatility.

In addition to U.S. equities, the strategy utilizes a hedge strategy that switches between TLT, TIP, UUP and GLD.

The strategy's backtests performed substantially better than a simple SPY-TLT investment. All of the component ETFs are very liquid with small spreads making them easy to trade with negligible costs.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the total return of 91.9% in the last 5 years of US Market Strategy, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark DIA (100.2%)
- Looking at total return, or increase in value in of 44% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to DIA (43.9%).

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the annual performance (CAGR) of 14% in the last 5 years of US Market Strategy, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark DIA (14.9%)
- Looking at annual performance (CAGR) in of 12.9% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to DIA (12.9%).

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The 30 days standard deviation over 5 years of US Market Strategy is 9.1%, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark DIA (20%) in the same period.
- Compared with DIA (23.8%) in the period of the last 3 years, the volatility of 10.6% is lower, thus better.

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

Which means for our asset as example:- The downside volatility over 5 years of US Market Strategy is 6.4%, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark DIA (14.5%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the downside deviation is 7.5%, which is smaller, thus better than the value of 17.3% from the benchmark.

'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:- Looking at the Sharpe Ratio of 1.26 in the last 5 years of US Market Strategy, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to the benchmark DIA (0.62)
- Compared with DIA (0.44) in the period of the last 3 years, the Sharpe Ratio of 0.98 is larger, thus better.

'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:- The downside risk / excess return profile over 5 years of US Market Strategy is 1.78, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark DIA (0.86) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the downside risk / excess return profile is 1.38, which is greater, thus better than the value of 0.6 from the benchmark.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the Downside risk index of 2.01 in the last 5 years of US Market Strategy, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark DIA (6.29 )
- Looking at Downside risk index in of 2.46 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to DIA (7.26 ).

'Maximum drawdown measures the loss in any losing period during a fund’s investment record. It is defined as the percent retrenchment from a fund’s peak value to the fund’s valley value. The drawdown is in effect from the time the fund’s retrenchment begins until a new fund high is reached. The maximum drawdown encompasses both the period from the fund’s peak to the fund’s valley (length), and the time from the fund’s valley to a new fund high (recovery). It measures the largest percentage drawdown that has occurred in any fund’s data record.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark DIA (-36.7 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum reduction from previous high of -15.3 days of US Market Strategy is higher, thus better.
- Looking at maximum reduction from previous high in of -15.3 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to DIA (-36.7 days).

'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 US Market Strategy is 97 days, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark DIA (187 days) in the same period.
- Looking at maximum days under water in of 97 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to DIA (187 days).

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the average days below previous high of 20 days in the last 5 years of US Market Strategy, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to the benchmark DIA (45 days)
- Compared with DIA (39 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average days below previous high of 25 days is lower, thus better.

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 US Market 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.