Description of Moderate Risk Portfolio for 401

Recommended for: Capital accumulation, savers and investors 10-20 years from retirement. 

The Moderate Risk Portfolio is appropriate for an investor with a medium risk tolerance and a time horizon longer than five years. Moderate investors are willing to accept periods of moderate market volatility in exchange for the possibility of receiving returns that outpace inflation by a significant margin.

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 plans which do allow single 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 12%.

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%)
  • US Sector Rotation Strategy (USSECT) (0% to 40%)
  • Universal Investment Strategy (UIS) (0% to 40%)
  • US Market Strategy (USMarket) (0% to 40%)
  • Short Term Bond Strategy (STBS) (0% to 50%)

Statistics of Moderate Risk Portfolio for 401 (YTD)

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

TotalReturn:

'Total return, when measuring performance, is the actual rate of return of an investment or a pool of investments over a given evaluation period. Total return includes interest, capital gains, dividends and distributions realized over a given period of time. Total return accounts for two categories of return: income including interest paid by fixed-income investments, distributions or dividends and capital appreciation, representing the change in the market price of an asset.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The total return, or performance over 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio for 401 is 96%, which is higher, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (68.2%) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the total return is 45.2%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 47.7% 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.4% in the last 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio for 401, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (11%)
  • Compared with SPY (13.9%) in the period of the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) of 13.2% is smaller, thus worse.

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Looking at the volatility of 6.7% in the last 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio for 401, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (13.2%)
  • During the last 3 years, the historical 30 days volatility is 6.2%, which is lower, thus better than the value of 12.4% 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the downside deviation of 7.4% in the last 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio for 401, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (14.6%)
  • During the last 3 years, the downside risk is 7%, which is lower, thus better than the value of 14% from the benchmark.

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • The ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) over 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio for 401 is 1.77, which is higher, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (0.64) in the same period.
  • Looking at Sharpe Ratio in of 1.73 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to SPY (0.92).

Sortino:

'The Sortino ratio measures the risk-adjusted return of an investment asset, portfolio, or strategy. It is a modification of the Sharpe ratio but penalizes only those returns falling below a user-specified target or required rate of return, while the Sharpe ratio penalizes both upside and downside volatility equally. Though both ratios measure an investment's risk-adjusted return, they do so in significantly different ways that will frequently lead to differing conclusions as to the true nature of the investment's return-generating efficiency. The Sortino ratio is used as a way to compare the risk-adjusted performance of programs with differing risk and return profiles. In general, risk-adjusted returns seek to normalize the risk across programs and then see which has the higher return unit per risk.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The downside risk / excess return profile over 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio for 401 is 1.61, which is higher, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (0.58) in the same period.
  • Looking at ratio of annual return and downside deviation in of 1.54 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to SPY (0.81).

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:
  • Looking at the Downside risk index of 1.4 in the last 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio for 401, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (3.95 )
  • Looking at Ulcer Index in of 1.32 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (4 ).

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the maximum drop from peak to valley of -5.5 days in the last 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio for 401, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (-19.3 days)
  • Compared with SPY (-19.3 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum reduction from previous high of -5.5 days is greater, thus better.

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'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Looking at the maximum days under water of 138 days in the last 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio for 401, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (187 days)
  • During the last 3 years, the maximum days under water is 95 days, which is lower, thus better than the value of 131 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 days under water over 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio for 401 is 27 days, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (39 days) in the same period.
  • Compared with SPY (33 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average days below previous high of 24 days is lower, thus better.

Performance of Moderate Risk Portfolio for 401 (YTD)

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.

Allocations of Moderate Risk Portfolio for 401
()

Allocations

Returns of Moderate Risk Portfolio for 401 (%)

  • "Year" returns in the table above are not equal to the sum of monthly returns due to compounding.
  • Performance results of Moderate Risk Portfolio for 401 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.