Description of Conservative Risk Portfolio

Recommended for: Capital preservation, liquidity and for investors close to or in retirement.

The Conservative Portfolio is appropriate for an investor with a low risk tolerance or a need to make withdrawals over the next 1 to 3 years. Conservative investors are willing to accept lower returns in exchange for lower account drawdowns in periods of market volatility.

To be compatible with most retirement plans, this Portfolio does not include our Maximum Yield Strategy and leveraged Universal Investment Strategy. If you are using a more flexible account you can choose from our unconstrained portfolios in the Portfolio Library.

We also offer a version for 401k plans which do not allow individual stocks. See details here.

Methodology & Assets
This portfolio is constructed by our proprietary optimization alogrithm 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 8%.

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 40%)
  • BUG Permanent Portfolio Strategy (BUG) (0% to 40%)
  • World Top 4 Strategy (WTOP4) (0% to 40%)
  • Global Sector Rotation Strategy (GSRS) (0% to 40%)
  • Global Market Rotation Strategy (GMRS) (0% to 40%)
  • NASDAQ 100 Strategy (NAS100) (0% to 40%)
  • US Sector Rotation Strategy (USSECT) (0% to 40%)
  • Universal Investment Strategy (UIS) (0% to 40%)
  • US Market Strategy (USMarket) (0% to 40%)
  • Dow 30 Strategy (DOW30) (0% to 40%)
  • Short Term Bond Strategy (STBS) (0% to 50%)

Statistics of Conservative Risk Portfolio (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:
  • The total return, or performance over 5 years of Conservative Risk Portfolio is 99.3%, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (71.4%) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the total return is 51.8%, which is larger, thus better than the value of 47.3% from the benchmark.

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over 5 years of Conservative Risk Portfolio is 14.8%, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (11.4%) in the same period.
  • Looking at annual return (CAGR) in of 15% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to SPY (13.8%).

Volatility:

'In finance, volatility (symbol σ) is the degree of variation of a trading price series over time as measured by the standard deviation of logarithmic returns. Historic volatility measures a time series of past market prices. Implied volatility looks forward in time, being derived from the market price of a market-traded derivative (in particular, an option). Commonly, the higher the volatility, the riskier the security.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (13.2%) in the period of the last 5 years, the historical 30 days volatility of 6.2% of Conservative Risk Portfolio is lower, thus better.
  • Looking at volatility in of 6% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (12.4%).

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (14.5%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside risk of 7% of Conservative Risk Portfolio is lower, thus better.
  • Looking at downside deviation in of 6.9% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (14.1%).

Sharpe:

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.67) in the period of the last 5 years, the Sharpe Ratio of 1.98 of Conservative Risk Portfolio is greater, thus better.
  • During the last 3 years, the Sharpe Ratio is 2.09, which is higher, thus better than the value of 0.91 from the benchmark.

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the downside risk / excess return profile of 1.75 in the last 5 years of Conservative Risk Portfolio, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.61)
  • Looking at excess return divided by the downside deviation in of 1.82 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to SPY (0.8).

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 Index of 1.19 in the last 5 years of Conservative Risk Portfolio, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (3.95 )
  • During the last 3 years, the Downside risk index is 1.16 , which is smaller, thus worse than the value of 4.01 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The maximum DrawDown over 5 years of Conservative Risk Portfolio is -6.2 days, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (-19.3 days) in the same period.
  • Compared with SPY (-19.3 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum reduction from previous high of -4.9 days is larger, thus better.

MaxDuration:

'The Maximum 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. It is the length of time the account was in the Max Drawdown. A Max Drawdown measures a retrenchment from when an equity curve reaches a new high. It’s the maximum an account lost during that retrenchment. This method is applied because a valley can’t be measured until a new high occurs. Once the new high is reached, the percentage change from the old high to the bottom of the largest trough is recorded.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • The maximum time in days below previous high water mark over 5 years of Conservative Risk Portfolio is 100 days, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (187 days) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the maximum days under water is 100 days, which is lower, 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The average time in days below previous high water mark over 5 years of Conservative Risk Portfolio is 19 days, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (41 days) in the same period.
  • Looking at average days under water in of 19 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to SPY (36 days).

Performance of Conservative Risk Portfolio (YTD)

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.

Allocations of Conservative Risk Portfolio
()

Allocations

Returns of Conservative Risk Portfolio (%)

  • "Year" returns in the table above are not equal to the sum of monthly returns due to compounding.
  • Performance results of Conservative Risk Portfolio 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.