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:- Compared with the benchmark DIA (76.7%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return, or increase in value of 123.7% of US Market Strategy is larger, thus better.
- During the last 3 years, the total return is 61.4%, which is larger, thus better than the value of 33% from the benchmark.

'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:- Looking at the annual return (CAGR) of 17.5% in the last 5 years of US Market Strategy, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to the benchmark DIA (12.1%)
- Looking at annual return (CAGR) in of 17.3% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to DIA (9.9%).

'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:- Looking at the historical 30 days volatility of 8.9% in the last 5 years of US Market Strategy, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark DIA (20.2%)
- Looking at historical 30 days volatility in of 10.2% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to DIA (23.9%).

'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:- Looking at the downside risk of 6.1% in the last 5 years of US Market Strategy, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark DIA (14.7%)
- During the last 3 years, the downside risk is 7.2%, which is lower, thus better than the value of 17.5% from the benchmark.

'The Sharpe ratio is the measure of risk-adjusted return of a financial portfolio. Sharpe ratio is a measure of excess portfolio return over the risk-free rate relative to its standard deviation. Normally, the 90-day Treasury bill rate is taken as the proxy for risk-free rate. A portfolio with a higher Sharpe ratio is considered superior relative to its peers. The measure was named after William F Sharpe, a Nobel laureate and professor of finance, emeritus at Stanford University.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) over 5 years of US Market Strategy is 1.69, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark DIA (0.47) in the same period.
- Looking at ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) in of 1.44 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to DIA (0.31).

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark DIA (0.65) in the period of the last 5 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 2.44 of US Market Strategy is greater, thus better.
- Compared with DIA (0.42) in the period of the last 3 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 2.05 is higher, thus better.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark DIA (6.5 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Ulcer Ratio of 1.82 of US Market Strategy is lower, thus better.
- Compared with DIA (7.94 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Downside risk index of 2.15 is lower, thus better.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The maximum reduction from previous high over 5 years of US Market Strategy is -15.3 days, which is higher, thus better compared to the benchmark DIA (-36.7 days) in the same period.
- 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 greater, thus better in comparison to DIA (-36.7 days).

'The Drawdown Duration is the length of any peak to peak period, or the time between new equity highs. The Max Drawdown Duration is the worst (the maximum/longest) amount of time an investment has seen between peaks (equity highs). Many assume Max DD Duration is the length of time between new highs during which the Max DD (magnitude) occurred. But that isn’t always the case. The Max DD duration is the longest time between peaks, period. So it could be the time when the program also had its biggest peak to valley loss (and usually is, because the program needs a long time to recover from the largest loss), but it doesn’t have to be'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The maximum time in days below previous high water mark over 5 years of US Market Strategy is 70 days, which is smaller, thus better compared to the benchmark DIA (161 days) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark is 66 days, which is lower, thus better than the value of 161 days from the benchmark.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The average days under water over 5 years of US Market Strategy is 16 days, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark DIA (41 days) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the average days under water is 16 days, which is smaller, thus better than the value of 52 days from the benchmark.

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.