Description

The Maximum Yield Rotation Strategy is a high-performing, high-risk investment strategy that rebalances twice a month. It trades one of the most profitable asset classes, volatility, by rebalancing a portfolio between two ETFs: ZIV (VelocityShares Inverse VIX Medium-Term ETF) and TMF (Direxion Daily 20+ Yr Treasury 3X ETF).

When you trade inverse volatility, which means going short VIX, you play the role of an insurer who sells worried investors an insurance policy to protect them from falling stock markets. Investing in inverse volatility means nothing more than taking over the risk and collecting this insurance premium from worried investors. This obviously needs to be done carefully by following a rules-based strategy.

This strategy is a good way to profit from VIX contango while minimizing heavy losses during volatility spikes. Since treasury bonds and inverse volatility have shown significant negative correlation to each other, the strategy reduces losses during financial crisis by switching early into treasuries. It is still a risky strategy and large drawdown are to be expected, so we recommend allocating no more than 15% of your overall portfolio.

For more information on trading "short volatility", read our original whitepaper on the topic.

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Looking at the total return, or increase in value of 161.2% in the last 5 years of Maximum Yield Strategy, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (32.9%)
  • Looking at total return in of 55.9% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to SPY (11.6%).

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:
  • The compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over 5 years of Maximum Yield Strategy is 21.2%, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (5.8%) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) is 15.9%, which is larger, thus better than the value of 3.7% 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Looking at the 30 days standard deviation of 25.4% in the last 5 years of Maximum Yield Strategy, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (18%)
  • Compared with SPY (20.3%) in the period of the last 3 years, the historical 30 days volatility of 26.8% is greater, thus worse.

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:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (13.4%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside deviation of 18.7% of Maximum Yield Strategy is greater, thus worse.
  • Looking at downside volatility in of 20.4% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to SPY (15.3%).

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:
  • The ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) over 5 years of Maximum Yield Strategy is 0.73, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (0.19) in the same period.
  • Looking at Sharpe Ratio in of 0.5 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to SPY (0.06).

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 in the last 5 years of Maximum Yield Strategy, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.25)
  • During the last 3 years, the downside risk / excess return profile is 0.66, which is greater, thus better than the value of 0.08 from the benchmark.

Ulcer:

'The ulcer index is a stock market risk measure or technical analysis indicator devised by Peter Martin in 1987, and published by him and Byron McCann in their 1989 book The Investors Guide to Fidelity Funds. It's designed as a measure of volatility, but only volatility in the downward direction, i.e. the amount of drawdown or retracement occurring over a period. Other volatility measures like standard deviation treat up and down movement equally, but a trader doesn't mind upward movement, it's the downside that causes stress and stomach ulcers that the index's name suggests.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Looking at the Ulcer Index of 11 in the last 5 years of Maximum Yield Strategy, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (5.17 )
  • During the last 3 years, the Ulcer Index is 12 , which is larger, thus worse than the value of 5.93 from the benchmark.

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:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum reduction from previous high of -44.6 days of Maximum Yield Strategy is lower, thus worse.
  • Looking at maximum drop from peak to valley in of -44.6 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse 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:
  • Looking at the maximum days below previous high of 346 days in the last 5 years of Maximum Yield Strategy, we see it is relatively larger, 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 time in days below previous high water mark of 346 days is greater, thus worse.

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.'

Which means for our asset as 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 75 days of Maximum Yield Strategy is greater, thus worse.
  • During the last 3 years, the average days below previous high is 99 days, which is greater, thus worse than the value of 36 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 Maximum Yield Strategy 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.