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 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (66.1%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return of 82.2% of Moderate Risk Portfolio for 401 is higher, thus better.
  • During the last 3 years, the total return, or increase in value is 29.9%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 46.2% 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:
  • The annual return (CAGR) over 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio for 401 is 12.8%, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (10.7%) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) is 9.1%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 13.5% 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (13.4%) in the period of the last 5 years, the volatility of 6.7% of Moderate Risk Portfolio for 401 is lower, thus better.
  • During the last 3 years, the volatility is 6.2%, which is smaller, thus better than the value of 12.3% from the benchmark.

DownVol:

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

Which means for our asset as example:
  • The downside risk over 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio for 401 is 7.4%, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (14.6%) in the same period.
  • Looking at downside risk in of 7% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (13.9%).

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Looking at the Sharpe Ratio of 1.53 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 (0.61)
  • Compared with SPY (0.9) in the period of the last 3 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of 1.07 is higher, 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Looking at the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 1.38 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 (0.56)
  • During the last 3 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation is 0.94, which is greater, thus better than the value of 0.8 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • The Ulcer Index over 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio for 401 is 1.44 , which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (3.99 ) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the Ulcer Index is 1.4 , which is lower, thus better than the value of 4.04 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:
  • Looking at the maximum DrawDown 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)
  • During the last 3 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley is -5.5 days, which is larger, thus better than the value of -19.3 days from the benchmark.

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'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the maximum days below previous high of 138 days 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 (187 days)
  • Compared with SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 95 days is lower, thus better.

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:
  • Looking at the average days under water of 28 days 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 (41 days)
  • During the last 3 years, the average days under water is 25 days, which is lower, thus better than the value of 36 days from the benchmark.

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.