Description

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 algorithm 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%)
  • Global Market Rotation Strategy (GMRS) (0% to 40%)
  • Global Sector Rotation Strategy (GSRS) (0% to 40%)
  • Hedge Strategy (HEDGE) (0% to 40%)
  • Short Term Bond Strategy (STBS) (0% to 50%)
  • Universal Investment Strategy (UIS) (0% to 40%)
  • US Market Strategy (USMarket) (0% to 40%)
  • US Sector Rotation Strategy (USSECT) (0% to 40%)
  • World Top 4 Strategy (WTOP4) (0% to 40%)

Statistics (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:
  • Looking at the total return, or performance of 91.3% 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 (122.1%)
  • During the last 3 years, the total return, or performance is 32.8%, which is smaller, thus worse than the value of 43.5% 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:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (17.3%) in the period of the last 5 years, the annual return (CAGR) of 13.9% of Moderate Risk Portfolio for 401 is lower, thus worse.
  • Compared with SPY (12.8%) in the period of the last 3 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.9% is smaller, thus worse.

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 historical 30 days volatility of 9.2% 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 (18.8%)
  • During the last 3 years, the volatility is 11%, which is lower, thus better than the value of 22.9% 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:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (13.6%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside risk of 6.6% of Moderate Risk Portfolio for 401 is smaller, thus better.
  • During the last 3 years, the downside risk is 8.1%, which is lower, thus better than the value of 16.8% 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:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.79) in the period of the last 5 years, the Sharpe Ratio of 1.24 of Moderate Risk Portfolio for 401 is larger, thus better.
  • Compared with SPY (0.45) in the period of the last 3 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of 0.67 is larger, 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:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (1.09) in the period of the last 5 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 1.73 of Moderate Risk Portfolio for 401 is greater, thus better.
  • Looking at downside risk / excess return profile in of 0.92 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to SPY (0.61).

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (5.59 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Ulcer Index of 2.25 of Moderate Risk Portfolio for 401 is smaller, thus better.
  • Looking at Downside risk index in of 2.83 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to SPY (7.15 ).

MaxDD:

'Maximum drawdown measures the loss in any losing period during a fund’s investment record. It is defined as the percent retrenchment from a fund’s peak value to the fund’s valley value. The drawdown is in effect from the time the fund’s retrenchment begins until a new fund high is reached. The maximum drawdown encompasses both the period from the fund’s peak to the fund’s valley (length), and the time from the fund’s valley to a new fund high (recovery). It measures the largest percentage drawdown that has occurred in any fund’s data record.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Looking at the maximum drop from peak to valley of -18.1 days in the last 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio for 401, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days)
  • Looking at maximum drop from peak to valley in of -18.1 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to SPY (-33.7 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The maximum days below previous high over 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio for 401 is 114 days, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (139 days) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the maximum days under water is 94 days, which is smaller, thus better than the value of 139 days from the benchmark.

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:
  • The average days under water over 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio for 401 is 25 days, which is smaller, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (33 days) in the same period.
  • Looking at average days below previous high in of 26 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (45 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 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.