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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the total return, or increase in value of 77.8% 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 (74.4%)
  • Looking at total return, or performance in of 33.3% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (34.2%).

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The annual return (CAGR) over 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio for 401 is 12.2%, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (11.8%) in the same period.
  • Compared with SPY (10.3%) in the period of the last 3 years, the annual performance (CAGR) of 10.1% is smaller, thus worse.

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The historical 30 days volatility over 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio for 401 is 9.2%, which is smaller, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (18.9%) in the same period.
  • Compared with SPY (22.6%) in the period of the last 3 years, the historical 30 days volatility of 10.9% 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:
  • The downside deviation over 5 years of Moderate Risk Portfolio for 401 is 6.6%, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (13.8%) in the same period.
  • Compared with SPY (16.7%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside risk of 8% is smaller, thus better.

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:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.49) in the period of the last 5 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of 1.06 of Moderate Risk Portfolio for 401 is larger, thus better.
  • Looking at ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) in of 0.69 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to SPY (0.35).

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Looking at the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 1.47 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 (0.67)
  • During the last 3 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation is 0.95, which is larger, thus better than the value of 0.47 from the benchmark.

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 Ulcer Ratio of 2.27 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 (5.82 )
  • During the last 3 years, the Ulcer Index is 2.78 , which is smaller, thus better than the value of 7.13 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 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)
  • During the last 3 years, the maximum DrawDown is -18.1 days, which is larger, thus better than the value of -33.7 days from the benchmark.

MaxDuration:

'The Maximum 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. It is the length of time the account was in the Max Drawdown. A Max Drawdown measures a retrenchment from when an equity curve reaches a new high. It’s the maximum an account lost during that retrenchment. This method is applied because a valley can’t be measured until a new high occurs. Once the new high is reached, the percentage change from the old high to the bottom of the largest trough is recorded.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 114 days of Moderate Risk Portfolio for 401 is smaller, thus better.
  • Compared with SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum days under water of 94 days is smaller, thus better.

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (37 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average days below previous high of 24 days of Moderate Risk Portfolio for 401 is lower, thus better.
  • During the last 3 years, the average days below previous high is 22 days, which is smaller, thus better than the value of 45 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.