Description of Enhanced Permanent Portfolio Strategy

The classic permanent portfolio was created by Harry Browne. The idea was that a portfolio should be diversified enough to get you through a wide variety of economic and market environments and simple enough that even a child could do it. Originally it consisted of the following allocations:

  • 25% in U.S. stocks
  • 25% in long-term bonds
  • 25% in gold
  • 25% in cash

The Logical Invest permanent portfolio is somewhat more sophisticated, rebalances monthly and is not always split evenly across the three main assets. It can adapt to market conditions by putting more weight on gold or treasuries and less on equity depending on market conditions.

Methodology & Assets
  • US Market (SPY: S&P 500 SPDRs)
  • Long Duration Treasuries (TLT: iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond)
  • Gold (GLD: Gold Shares SPDR)

Statistics of Enhanced Permanent Portfolio Strategy (YTD)

What do these metrics mean? [Read More] [Hide]

TotalReturn:

'The total return on a portfolio of investments takes into account not only the capital appreciation on the portfolio, but also the income received on the portfolio. The income typically consists of interest, dividends, and securities lending fees. This contrasts with the price return, which takes into account only the capital gain on an investment.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • The total return, or performance over 5 years of Enhanced Permanent Portfolio Strategy is 51.6%, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (66.9%) in the same period.
  • Compared with SPY (50.6%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return, or increase in value of 34.1% is lower, thus worse.

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the annual return (CAGR) of 8.7% in the last 5 years of Enhanced Permanent Portfolio Strategy, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (10.8%)
  • Compared with SPY (14.7%) in the period of the last 3 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.3% is lower, thus worse.

Volatility:

'Volatility is a rate at which the price of a security increases or decreases for a given set of returns. Volatility is measured by calculating the standard deviation of the annualized returns over a given period of time. It shows the range to which the price of a security may increase or decrease. Volatility measures the risk of a security. It is used in option pricing formula to gauge the fluctuations in the returns of the underlying assets. Volatility indicates the pricing behavior of the security and helps estimate the fluctuations that may happen in a short period of time.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • The 30 days standard deviation over 5 years of Enhanced Permanent Portfolio Strategy is 6.8%, which is smaller, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (13.5%) in the same period.
  • Looking at historical 30 days volatility in of 6.4% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (12.8%).

DownVol:

'Downside risk is the financial risk associated with losses. That is, it is the risk of the actual return being below the expected return, or the uncertainty about the magnitude of that difference. 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:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (14.8%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside volatility of 7.6% of Enhanced Permanent Portfolio Strategy is smaller, thus better.
  • Looking at downside risk in of 7.5% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (14.7%).

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:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.61) in the period of the last 5 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of 0.9 of Enhanced Permanent Portfolio Strategy is greater, thus better.
  • During the last 3 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) is 1.22, which is higher, thus better than the value of 0.95 from the benchmark.

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • The ratio of annual return and downside deviation over 5 years of Enhanced Permanent Portfolio Strategy is 0.81, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (0.56) in the same period.
  • Looking at ratio of annual return and downside deviation in of 1.05 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to SPY (0.83).

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (3.99 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Ulcer Ratio of 3.25 of Enhanced Permanent Portfolio Strategy is lower, thus better.
  • Looking at Downside risk index in of 3.02 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to SPY (4.1 ).

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:
  • Looking at the maximum reduction from previous high of -9.1 days in the last 5 years of Enhanced Permanent Portfolio Strategy, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (-19.3 days)
  • Compared with SPY (-19.3 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum DrawDown of -9.1 days is higher, thus better.

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:
  • The maximum days under water over 5 years of Enhanced Permanent Portfolio Strategy is 289 days, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (187 days) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the maximum days under water is 289 days, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 139 days from the benchmark.

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Looking at the average days below previous high of 75 days in the last 5 years of Enhanced Permanent Portfolio Strategy, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (42 days)
  • During the last 3 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark is 72 days, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 36 days from the benchmark.

Performance of Enhanced Permanent Portfolio Strategy (YTD)

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.

Allocations of Enhanced Permanent Portfolio Strategy
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Allocations

Returns of Enhanced Permanent Portfolio Strategy (%)

  • Note that yearly returns do not equal the sum of monthly returns due to compounding.
  • Performance results of Enhanced Permanent Portfolio 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.