Description

The BUG strategy is one of our more conservative strategies. The strategy does not attempt to predict prices or the future state of the economy. It holds a broad diversified number of assets that complement each other, each performing well in a different economic environment such as inflation, deflation, growth and stagnation. It is meant for long term, steady growth and low risk.

It inherits part of its logic from Harry Browne's tried-and-true Permanent Portfolio and the publicized workings of the All-Weather portfolio.

Methodology & Assets
  • US Market (SPY: S&P 500 SPDRs)
  • Long Duration Treasuries (TLT: iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond)
  • Gold (GLD: Gold Shares SPDR)
  • Cash or equivalent (SHY: 1-3 Year Treasury Bonds)
  • Convertible Bonds (CWB: SPDR Barclays Convertible Securities)
  • Inflation Protected Treasuries (TIP: iShares TIPS Bond Fund)
  • Foreign Bonds (PCY: PowerShares Emerging Markets Sovereign Bond)

Statistics (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:
  • Looking at the total return, or performance of 29% in the last 5 years of BUG Permanent Portfolio Strategy, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to the benchmark AGG (17.7%)
  • Looking at total return, or performance in of 12.5% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to AGG (15.1%).

CAGR:

'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:
  • The annual return (CAGR) over 5 years of BUG Permanent Portfolio Strategy is 5.2%, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark AGG (3.3%) in the same period.
  • Looking at annual return (CAGR) in of 4% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to AGG (4.8%).

Volatility:

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Compared with the benchmark AGG (4.6%) in the period of the last 5 years, the 30 days standard deviation of 8.4% of BUG Permanent Portfolio Strategy is greater, thus worse.
  • During the last 3 years, the historical 30 days volatility is 9.5%, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 5.3% from the benchmark.

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • The downside volatility over 5 years of BUG Permanent Portfolio Strategy is 6.6%, which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark AGG (3.5%) in the same period.
  • Looking at downside volatility in of 7.8% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to AGG (4.1%).

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) over 5 years of BUG Permanent Portfolio Strategy is 0.33, which is higher, thus better compared to the benchmark AGG (0.18) in the same period.
  • Compared with AGG (0.43) in the period of the last 3 years, the Sharpe Ratio of 0.16 is lower, thus worse.

Sortino:

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The excess return divided by the downside deviation over 5 years of BUG Permanent Portfolio Strategy is 0.41, which is higher, thus better compared to the benchmark AGG (0.23) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation is 0.2, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.56 from the benchmark.

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the Ulcer Ratio of 3.68 in the last 5 years of BUG Permanent Portfolio Strategy, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark AGG (1.7 )
  • Looking at Ulcer Ratio in of 4.25 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to AGG (1.56 ).

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 DrawDown of -26.8 days in the last 5 years of BUG Permanent Portfolio Strategy, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark AGG (-9.6 days)
  • Compared with AGG (-9.6 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum DrawDown of -26.8 days is lower, thus worse.

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 AGG (331 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum days below previous high of 331 days of BUG Permanent Portfolio Strategy is larger, thus worse.
  • Compared with AGG (331 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 331 days is greater, 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the average days below previous high of 82 days in the last 5 years of BUG Permanent Portfolio Strategy, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark AGG (106 days)
  • During the last 3 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark is 93 days, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 91 days from the benchmark.

Performance (YTD)

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.

Allocations
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Allocations

Returns (%)

  • Note that yearly returns do not equal the sum of monthly returns due to compounding.
  • Performance results of BUG Permanent Portfolio 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.