Description of Top 3 Strategies

This strategy selects the top three performers from our core strategies, based on the most recent 6 month performance, and allocates one third to each of them.

Note that very often the strategy will invest in the more aggressive of our strategies, which might not be suitable for all investors. You can create your version of this strategy with our Portfolio Builder. Simply select the top 2, 3, or 4 strategies and assign equal weights to each or adjust your allocations for your risk level. You will need to manually review and update the top performers periodically.

Methodology & Assets

All of our current strategies are included in the algorithm.

Statistics of Top 3 Strategies (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 increase in value of 90.2% in the last 5 years of Top 3 Strategies, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (81.7%)
  • Looking at total return, or increase in value in of 65% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to SPY (54.7%).

CAGR:

'The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is a useful measure of growth over multiple time periods. It can be thought of as the growth rate that gets you from the initial investment value to the ending investment value if you assume that the investment has been compounding over the time period.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (12.7%) in the period of the last 5 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.7% of Top 3 Strategies is higher, thus better.
  • Compared with SPY (15.6%) in the period of the last 3 years, the annual performance (CAGR) of 18.1% is higher, thus better.

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (13.3%) in the period of the last 5 years, the volatility of 6% of Top 3 Strategies is lower, thus better.
  • During the last 3 years, the 30 days standard deviation is 5.5%, which is lower, thus better than the value of 12.8% from the benchmark.

DownVol:

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

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Looking at the downside risk of 6.9% in the last 5 years of Top 3 Strategies, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (14.8%)
  • Looking at downside volatility in of 6.6% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (14.8%).

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The risk / return profile (Sharpe) over 5 years of Top 3 Strategies is 1.86, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (0.76) in the same period.
  • Compared with SPY (1.03) in the period of the last 3 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of 2.82 is larger, 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:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.69) in the period of the last 5 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 1.64 of Top 3 Strategies is greater, thus better.
  • Looking at excess return divided by the downside deviation in of 2.38 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to SPY (0.89).

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Looking at the Downside risk index of 2.5 in the last 5 years of Top 3 Strategies, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (3.97 )
  • Compared with SPY (4.09 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Downside risk index of 0.89 is lower, thus better.

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (-19.3 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley of -8 days of Top 3 Strategies is greater, thus better.
  • Compared with SPY (-19.3 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum reduction from previous high of -5.1 days is larger, 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 below previous high of 263 days in the last 5 years of Top 3 Strategies, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (187 days)
  • Compared with SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum days below previous high of 57 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Looking at the average days under water of 45 days in the last 5 years of Top 3 Strategies, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (42 days)
  • Looking at average days under water in of 12 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to SPY (37 days).

Performance of Top 3 Strategies (YTD)

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.

Allocations of Top 3 Strategies
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Allocations

Returns of Top 3 Strategies (%)

  • Note that yearly returns do not equal the sum of monthly returns due to compounding.
  • Performance results of Top 3 Strategies 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.