The Bond Rotation Strategy is one of our core investment strategies. It is appropriate for investors looking to collect bond dividends while pursuing growth by rotating between bond sectors. The strategy evaluates and allocates to the best performing bond ETFs including treasuries, TIPS, foreign, high-yield and convertible bonds. This is a good strategy if you are looking for a long-term bond investment with medium risk.

The strategy has been updated (as of May 1st, 2020) to allocate 40%-60% to our HEDGE sub-strategy. The statistics below reflect the updated model.

'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:- Compared with the benchmark AGG (16.6%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return of 33.8% of Bond ETF Rotation Strategy is larger, thus better.
- During the last 3 years, the total return, or increase in value is 13.5%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 15.3% from the benchmark.

'Compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is a business and investing specific term for the geometric progression ratio that provides a constant rate of return over the time period. CAGR is not an accounting term, but it is often used to describe some element of the business, for example revenue, units delivered, registered users, etc. CAGR dampens the effect of volatility of periodic returns that can render arithmetic means irrelevant. It is particularly useful to compare growth rates from various data sets of common domain such as revenue growth of companies in the same industry.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark AGG (3.1%) in the period of the last 5 years, the annual return (CAGR) of 6% of Bond ETF Rotation Strategy is higher, thus better.
- Compared with AGG (4.9%) in the period of the last 3 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.3% is smaller, thus worse.

'Volatility is a rate at which the price of a security increases or decreases for a given set of returns. Volatility is measured by calculating the standard deviation of the annualized returns over a given period of time. It shows the range to which the price of a security may increase or decrease. Volatility measures the risk of a security. It is used in option pricing formula to gauge the fluctuations in the returns of the underlying assets. Volatility indicates the pricing behavior of the security and helps estimate the fluctuations that may happen in a short period of time.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The volatility over 5 years of Bond ETF Rotation Strategy is 5.5%, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark AGG (4.6%) in the same period.
- Compared with AGG (5.5%) in the period of the last 3 years, the historical 30 days volatility of 6.2% is greater, thus worse.

'Downside risk is the financial risk associated with losses. That is, it is the risk of the actual return being below the expected return, or the uncertainty about the magnitude of that difference. 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:- The downside volatility over 5 years of Bond ETF Rotation Strategy is 4%, which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark AGG (3.5%) in the same period.
- Looking at downside risk in of 4.6% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to AGG (4.2%).

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark AGG (0.13) in the period of the last 5 years, the Sharpe Ratio of 0.64 of Bond ETF Rotation Strategy is higher, thus better.
- Compared with AGG (0.43) in the period of the last 3 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of 0.29 is lower, thus worse.

'The Sortino ratio improves upon the Sharpe ratio by isolating downside volatility from total volatility by dividing excess return by the downside deviation. The Sortino ratio is a variation of the Sharpe ratio that differentiates harmful volatility from total overall volatility by using the asset's standard deviation of negative asset returns, called downside deviation. The Sortino ratio takes the asset's return and subtracts the risk-free rate, and then divides that amount by the asset's downside deviation. The ratio was named after Frank A. Sortino.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark AGG (0.18) in the period of the last 5 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 0.88 of Bond ETF Rotation Strategy is higher, thus better.
- Looking at excess return divided by the downside deviation in of 0.39 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to AGG (0.56).

'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 AGG (1.73 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Downside risk index of 2.22 of Bond ETF Rotation Strategy is greater, thus worse.
- Looking at Ulcer Index in of 2.76 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to AGG (1.26 ).

'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:- The maximum drop from peak to valley over 5 years of Bond ETF Rotation Strategy is -12.8 days, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark AGG (-9.6 days) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum reduction from previous high is -12.8 days, which is lower, thus worse than the value of -9.6 days from the benchmark.

'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) in days.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The maximum days below previous high over 5 years of Bond ETF Rotation Strategy is 286 days, which is smaller, thus better compared to the benchmark AGG (331 days) in the same period.
- Looking at maximum days under water in of 286 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to AGG (171 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 time in days below previous high water mark of 62 days in the last 5 years of Bond ETF Rotation Strategy, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark AGG (103 days)
- During the last 3 years, the average days below previous high is 76 days, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 37 days from the benchmark.

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.
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Allocations and holdings shown below are delayed by one month. To see current trading allocations of Bond ETF Rotation Strategy, register now.

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- Note that yearly returns do not equal the sum of monthly returns due to compounding.
- Performance results of Bond ETF Rotation 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.