Description

This is the low volatility version of the Global Sector Rotation Strategy and is used as a sub-strategy. It picks on a monthly basis the top two performing global sectors.

Methodology & Assets

EEM – iShares MSCI Emerging Markets
DBEM – Emerging Markets Equity Fund
EPP – iShares MSCI Pacific ex-Japan
DBAP – MSCI AC Asia Pacific ex Japan Hedged Equity Fund
FEZ – SPDR Euro STOXX 50
HEDJ – Europe Hedged Equity Fund
IHDG – WisdomTree Int’l Hedged Quality Divident ETF
MDY – S&P MidCap 400

From the HEDGE sub-strategy:
GLD – SPDR Gold Shares
TLT– iShares Barclays Long-Term Treasury (15-18yr)

From the Short Sectors sub-strategy:
SMN - ProShares UltraShort Basic Materials
ERY - Direxion Daily Energy Bear 3X ETF
SKF - ProShares UltraShort Financials
SIJ - ProShares UltraShort Industrial
REW - ProShares UltraShort Technolog
RXD - ProShares UltraShort Health Car
SCC - ProShares UltraShort Consumer Service
SDP - ProShares UltraShort Utilitie
SZK - ProShares UltraShort Consumer Goods

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:
  • The total return, or performance over 5 years of GSRS Low Volatility Sub-strategy is 23.4%, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (67.6%) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the total return, or performance is 8.5%, which is smaller, thus worse than the value of 36.7% from the benchmark.

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 performance (CAGR) over 5 years of GSRS Low Volatility Sub-strategy is 4.3%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (10.9%) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) is 2.8%, which is smaller, thus worse than the value of 11% from the benchmark.

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (19%) in the period of the last 5 years, the 30 days standard deviation of 15.6% of GSRS Low Volatility Sub-strategy is smaller, thus better.
  • Looking at volatility in of 17.4% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (22%).

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (13.9%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside volatility of 12.1% of GSRS Low Volatility Sub-strategy is lower, thus better.
  • During the last 3 years, the downside risk is 13.8%, which is lower, thus better than the value of 16.2% 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The Sharpe Ratio over 5 years of GSRS Low Volatility Sub-strategy is 0.12, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.44) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the Sharpe Ratio is 0.02, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.39 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The downside risk / excess return profile over 5 years of GSRS Low Volatility Sub-strategy is 0.15, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.6) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the downside risk / excess return profile is 0.02, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.53 from the benchmark.

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:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (5.91 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Ulcer Index of 8.28 of GSRS Low Volatility Sub-strategy is larger, thus worse.
  • Compared with SPY (7 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Ulcer Ratio of 10 is greater, thus worse.

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Looking at the maximum DrawDown of -43.4 days in the last 5 years of GSRS Low Volatility Sub-strategy, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days)
  • During the last 3 years, the maximum reduction from previous high is -43.4 days, which is lower, thus worse than the value of -33.7 days from the benchmark.

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • The maximum days below previous high over 5 years of GSRS Low Volatility Sub-strategy is 248 days, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (187 days) in the same period.
  • Looking at maximum time in days below previous high water mark in of 248 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to SPY (139 days).

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 GSRS Low Volatility Sub-strategy is 58 days, which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (45 days) in the same period.
  • Looking at average time in days below previous high water mark in of 60 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to SPY (42 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 GSRS Low Volatility Sub-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.