Description of Volatility less than 10%

This portfolio has been optimized for achieving the highest possible return while limiting the historical volatility to 10% or less over the analyzed period with the involved assets. As a reference, the volatility limit of 10% is about two thirds of the volatility, or risk, of the SPDR S&P 500 (SPY).

As such it is a conservative Portfolio suited for risk adverse investors with moderate growth expectations.

Please note that this portfolio might use leveraged ETF and single stocks. Should these not be allowed in your retirement account please see our 401k and IRS compatible Conservative, Moderate, and Aggressive Risk Portfolios. Contact us for special requirements.

Methodology & Assets
This portfolio is constructed by our proprietary optimization algorithm based on Modern Portfolio Theory pioneered by Nobel Laureate Harry Markowitz. Using historical returns, the algorithm finds the asset allocation that produced the highest return with volatility less than 10%.

While this portfolio provides an optimized asset allocation based on historical returns, your investment objectives, risk profile and personal experience are important factors when deciding on the best investment vehicle for yourself. You can also use the Portfolio Builder or Portfolio Optimizer to construct your own personalized portfolio.

Assets and weight constraints used in the optimizer process:
  • Bond ETF Rotation Strategy (BRS) (0% to 100%)
  • BUG Permanent Portfolio Strategy (BUG) (0% to 100%)
  • World Top 4 Strategy (WTOP4) (0% to 100%)
  • Global Sector Rotation Strategy (GSRS) (0% to 100%)
  • Global Market Rotation Strategy (GMRS) (0% to 100%)
  • Maximum Yield Strategy (MYRS) (0% to 100%)
  • NASDAQ 100 Strategy (NAS100) (0% to 100%)
  • Leveraged Gold-Currency Strategy (GLD-USD) (0% to 100%)
  • US Sector Rotation Strategy (USSECT) (0% to 100%)
  • Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy (UISx3) (0% to 100%)
  • US Market Strategy (USMarket) (0% to 100%)
  • Dow 30 Strategy (DOW30) (0% to 100%)
  • Universal Investment Strategy (UIS) (0% to 100%)

Statistics of Volatility less than 10% (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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (81.7%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return of 139% of Volatility less than 10% is larger, thus better.
  • Compared with SPY (54.7%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return of 79.3% is higher, thus better.

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • The compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over 5 years of Volatility less than 10% is 19.1%, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (12.7%) in the same period.
  • Looking at annual performance (CAGR) in of 21.4% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to SPY (15.6%).

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:
  • The historical 30 days volatility over 5 years of Volatility less than 10% is 9.8%, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (13.3%) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the 30 days standard deviation is 9.8%, which is smaller, thus better than the value of 12.8% from the benchmark.

DownVol:

'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 (14.8%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside volatility of 11% of Volatility less than 10% is smaller, thus better.
  • Looking at downside volatility in of 11.4% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to SPY (14.8%).

Sharpe:

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the Sharpe Ratio of 1.69 in the last 5 years of Volatility less than 10%, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.76)
  • During the last 3 years, the Sharpe Ratio is 1.93, which is higher, thus better than the value of 1.03 from the benchmark.

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.69) in the period of the last 5 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 1.5 of Volatility less than 10% is larger, thus better.
  • Looking at downside risk / excess return profile in of 1.66 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to SPY (0.89).

Ulcer:

'Ulcer Index is a method for measuring investment risk that addresses the real concerns of investors, unlike the widely used standard deviation of return. UI is a measure of the depth and duration of drawdowns in prices from earlier highs. Using Ulcer Index instead of standard deviation can lead to very different conclusions about investment risk and risk-adjusted return, especially when evaluating strategies that seek to avoid major declines in portfolio value (market timing, dynamic asset allocation, hedge funds, etc.). The Ulcer Index was originally developed in 1987. Since then, it has been widely recognized and adopted by the investment community. According to Nelson Freeburg, editor of Formula Research, Ulcer Index is “perhaps the most fully realized statistical portrait of risk there is.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • The Ulcer Index over 5 years of Volatility less than 10% is 3.17 , which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (3.97 ) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the Downside risk index is 3.46 , which is smaller, thus better than the value of 4.09 from the benchmark.

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the maximum reduction from previous high of -11 days in the last 5 years of Volatility less than 10%, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (-19.3 days)
  • During the last 3 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley is -11 days, which is greater, thus better than the value of -19.3 days from the benchmark.

MaxDuration:

'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:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (187 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 130 days of Volatility less than 10% is smaller, thus better.
  • During the last 3 years, the maximum days below previous high is 130 days, which is smaller, thus better than the value of 139 days from the benchmark.

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • The average days under water over 5 years of Volatility less than 10% is 34 days, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (42 days) in the same period.
  • Compared with SPY (37 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average days under water of 32 days is smaller, thus better.

Performance of Volatility less than 10% (YTD)

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.

Allocations of Volatility less than 10%
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Allocations

Returns of Volatility less than 10% (%)

  • Note that yearly returns do not equal the sum of monthly returns due to compounding.
  • Performance results of Volatility less than 10% 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.