Description of Minimum Volatility Portfolio

This portfolio has been optimized for achieving the lowest possible historical volatility over the analyzed period with the involved assets. As such, it exhibits the least risk of all our portfolios, and is therefore suited especially for very risk adverse investors with conservative growth expectations.

Please note that this portfolio might use leveraged ETF and single stocks. Should these not be allowed in your retirement account please see our 401k and IRS compatible Conservative, Moderate, and Aggressive Risk Portfolios. Contact us for special requirements.

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 lowest volatility.

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 100%)
  • BUG Permanent Portfolio Strategy (BUG) (0% to 100%)
  • World Top 4 Strategy (WTOP4) (0% to 100%)
  • Global Sector Rotation Strategy (GSRS) (0% to 100%)
  • Global Market Rotation Strategy (GMRS) (0% to 100%)
  • Maximum Yield Strategy (MYRS) (0% to 100%)
  • NASDAQ 100 Strategy (NAS100) (0% to 100%)
  • Leveraged Gold-Currency Strategy (GLD-USD) (0% to 100%)
  • US Sector Rotation Strategy (USSECT) (0% to 100%)
  • Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy (UISx3) (0% to 100%)
  • US Market Strategy (USMarket) (0% to 100%)
  • Dow 30 Strategy (DOW30) (0% to 100%)
  • Universal Investment Strategy (UIS) (0% to 100%)

Statistics of Minimum Volatility Portfolio (YTD)

What do these metrics mean? [Read More] [Hide]

TotalReturn:

'The total return on a portfolio of investments takes into account not only the capital appreciation on the portfolio, but also the income received on the portfolio. The income typically consists of interest, dividends, and securities lending fees. This contrasts with the price return, which takes into account only the capital gain on an investment.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (71.4%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return, or performance of 53.5% of Minimum Volatility Portfolio is smaller, thus worse.
  • Compared with SPY (47.3%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return of 28.5% is smaller, thus worse.

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:
  • The annual performance (CAGR) over 5 years of Minimum Volatility Portfolio is 8.9%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (11.4%) in the same period.
  • Looking at compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) in of 8.7% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (13.8%).

Volatility:

'Volatility is a statistical measure of the dispersion of returns for a given security or market index. Volatility can either be measured by using the standard deviation or variance between returns from that same security or market index. Commonly, the higher the volatility, the riskier the security. In the securities markets, volatility is often associated with big swings in either direction. For example, when the stock market rises and falls more than one percent over a sustained period of time, it is called a 'volatile' market.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Looking at the 30 days standard deviation of 5.3% in the last 5 years of Minimum Volatility Portfolio, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (13.2%)
  • Compared with SPY (12.4%) in the period of the last 3 years, the volatility of 4.7% is lower, thus better.

DownVol:

'The downside volatility is similar to the volatility, or standard deviation, but only takes losing/negative periods into account.'

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 volatility of 5.9% of Minimum Volatility Portfolio is lower, thus better.
  • During the last 3 years, the downside risk is 5.5%, which is lower, thus better than the value of 14.1% from the benchmark.

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 risk / return profile (Sharpe) of 1.21 of Minimum Volatility Portfolio is larger, thus better.
  • Compared with SPY (0.91) in the period of the last 3 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of 1.33 is greater, thus better.

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • The excess return divided by the downside deviation over 5 years of Minimum Volatility Portfolio is 1.1, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (0.61) in the same period.
  • Looking at excess return divided by the downside deviation in of 1.13 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 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 SPY (3.95 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Downside risk index of 2.13 of Minimum Volatility Portfolio is smaller, thus worse.
  • During the last 3 years, the Downside risk index is 2.01 , which is lower, 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:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (-19.3 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley of -6.8 days of Minimum Volatility Portfolio is higher, thus better.
  • Looking at maximum reduction from previous high in of -5.3 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to SPY (-19.3 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) in days.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Looking at the maximum days below previous high of 252 days in the last 5 years of Minimum Volatility Portfolio, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (187 days)
  • Looking at maximum days under water in of 252 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to SPY (139 days).

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 SPY (41 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average days under water of 59 days of Minimum Volatility Portfolio is higher, thus worse.
  • Looking at average days under water in of 61 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to SPY (36 days).

Performance of Minimum Volatility Portfolio (YTD)

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.

Allocations of Minimum Volatility Portfolio
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Allocations

Returns of Minimum Volatility Portfolio (%)

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