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%)
  • 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 (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:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (62.9%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return, or increase in value of 83.6% of Moderate Risk Portfolio for 401 is greater, thus better.
  • Looking at total return, or performance in of 44.5% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to SPY (39.8%).

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (10.3%) in the period of the last 5 years, the annual return (CAGR) of 12.9% of Moderate Risk Portfolio for 401 is greater, thus better.
  • During the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) is 13.1%, which is greater, thus better than the value of 11.8% 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 (13.5%) in the period of the last 5 years, the volatility of 6.2% of Moderate Risk Portfolio for 401 is lower, thus better.
  • Looking at 30 days standard deviation in of 5.8% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to SPY (13.3%).

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Looking at the downside deviation of 4.2% 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 (9.8%)
  • During the last 3 years, the downside risk is 4.1%, which is lower, thus better than the value of 9.8% 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • The risk / return profile (Sharpe) over 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio for 401 is 1.69, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (0.58) in the same period.
  • Compared with SPY (0.71) in the period of the last 3 years, the Sharpe Ratio of 1.82 is higher, thus better.

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Looking at the downside risk / excess return profile of 2.46 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 (0.79)
  • Looking at excess return divided by the downside deviation in of 2.58 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to SPY (0.96).

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 1.23 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 (3.98 )
  • Looking at Ulcer Ratio in of 0.98 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to SPY (4.12 ).

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:
  • The maximum reduction from previous high over 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio for 401 is -5.5 days, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (-19.3 days) in the same period.
  • Looking at maximum reduction from previous high in of -5.5 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 155 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 71 days, which is lower, thus better than the value of 139 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:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (42 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark of 25 days of Moderate Risk Portfolio for 401 is smaller, thus better.
  • During the last 3 years, the average days below previous high is 13 days, which is smaller, thus better than the value of 37 days from the benchmark.

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.