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.

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.

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 increase in value of 58.7% in the last 5 years of BUG Permanent Portfolio Strategy, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to the benchmark AGG (16.9%)
  • Compared with AGG (15.8%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return, or increase in value of 29.6% 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:
  • Looking at the annual performance (CAGR) of 9.7% in the last 5 years of BUG Permanent Portfolio Strategy, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to the benchmark AGG (3.2%)
  • Compared with AGG (5%) in the period of the last 3 years, the annual performance (CAGR) of 9% is larger, thus better.

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:
  • Looking at the volatility of 7.3% in the last 5 years of BUG Permanent Portfolio Strategy, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark AGG (4.6%)
  • Looking at historical 30 days volatility in of 8.6% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to AGG (5.5%).

DownVol:

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Looking at the downside deviation of 5.5% in the last 5 years of BUG Permanent Portfolio Strategy, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark AGG (3.5%)
  • During the last 3 years, the downside volatility is 6.6%, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 4.2% from the benchmark.

Sharpe:

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Compared with the benchmark AGG (0.15) in the period of the last 5 years, the Sharpe Ratio of 0.98 of BUG Permanent Portfolio Strategy is larger, thus better.
  • Looking at ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) in of 0.76 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to AGG (0.46).

Sortino:

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Compared with the benchmark AGG (0.19) in the period of the last 5 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 1.3 of BUG Permanent Portfolio Strategy is higher, thus better.
  • Compared with AGG (0.6) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside risk / excess return profile of 0.99 is larger, thus better.

Ulcer:

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the Ulcer Ratio of 2.56 in the last 5 years of BUG Permanent Portfolio Strategy, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark AGG (1.74 )
  • During the last 3 years, the Ulcer Ratio is 2.74 , which is higher, thus worse than the value of 1.29 from the benchmark.

MaxDD:

'Maximum drawdown is defined as the peak-to-trough decline of an investment during a specific period. It is usually quoted as a percentage of the peak value. The maximum drawdown can be calculated based on absolute returns, in order to identify strategies that suffer less during market downturns, such as low-volatility strategies. However, the maximum drawdown can also be calculated based on returns relative to a benchmark index, for identifying strategies that show steady outperformance over time.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Compared with the benchmark AGG (-9.6 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley of -18.6 days of BUG Permanent Portfolio Strategy is lower, thus worse.
  • Looking at maximum drop from peak to valley in of -18.6 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to AGG (-9.6 days).

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'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • The maximum days below previous high over 5 years of BUG Permanent Portfolio Strategy is 247 days, which is smaller, thus better compared to the benchmark AGG (331 days) in the same period.
  • Compared with AGG (176 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 100 days is lower, thus better.

AveDuration:

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Compared with the benchmark AGG (103 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average days under water of 49 days of BUG Permanent Portfolio Strategy is lower, thus better.
  • Looking at average days below previous high in of 31 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to AGG (38 days).

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.