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 48.2%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (68.2%) in the same period.
  • Looking at total return in of 26% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (47.7%).

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:
  • The compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over 5 years of Enhanced Permanent Portfolio Strategy is 8.2%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (11%) in the same period.
  • Looking at annual performance (CAGR) in of 8% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (13.9%).

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The 30 days standard deviation over 5 years of Enhanced Permanent Portfolio Strategy is 6.7%, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (13.2%) in the same period.
  • Looking at 30 days standard deviation in of 6.4% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to SPY (12.4%).

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 risk over 5 years of Enhanced Permanent Portfolio Strategy is 7.4%, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (14.6%) in the same period.
  • Compared with SPY (14%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside risk of 7.4% 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Looking at the Sharpe Ratio of 0.85 in the last 5 years of Enhanced Permanent Portfolio Strategy, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.64)
  • During the last 3 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) is 0.87, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.92 from the benchmark.

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.'

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 0.76, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (0.58) in the same period.
  • Looking at excess return divided by the downside deviation in of 0.75 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.81).

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the Ulcer Index of 3.26 in the last 5 years of Enhanced Permanent Portfolio Strategy, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (3.95 )
  • Looking at Ulcer Ratio in of 3.28 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (4 ).

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:
  • Looking at the maximum drop from peak to valley 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)
  • Looking at maximum drop from peak to valley in of -9.1 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 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The maximum days below previous high over 5 years of Enhanced Permanent Portfolio Strategy is 288 days, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (187 days) in the same period.
  • Compared with SPY (131 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum days under water of 288 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (39 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average days below previous high of 75 days of Enhanced Permanent Portfolio Strategy is larger, thus worse.
  • During the last 3 years, the average days below previous high is 76 days, which is greater, thus worse than the value of 33 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 (%)

  • "Year" returns in the table above are not equal to 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.