Description of Short Term Bond Strategy

The Short Term Bond Strategy is essentially a place to park cash that earns interest. When combined with other higher risk strategies it creates a lower risk portfolio and generally improves the portfolio's Sharpe ratio. If your broker pays interest on cash balances that is comparable to the current yield of this strategy, you can choose to keep this allocation in cash instead.

Methodology & Assets

This strategy switches between very low risk ETFs that hold short term corporate or treasury bonds including GSY, MINT and NEAR.

Statistics of Short Term Bond Strategy (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 performance of 9.6% in the last 5 years of Short Term Bond Strategy, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark TLT (40.5%)
  • Looking at total return, or performance in of 7% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to TLT (11.9%).

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • The annual return (CAGR) over 5 years of Short Term Bond Strategy is 1.9%, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark TLT (7%) in the same period.
  • Looking at annual return (CAGR) in of 2.3% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to TLT (3.8%).

Volatility:

'Volatility is a statistical measure of the dispersion of returns for a given security or market index. Volatility can either be measured by using the standard deviation or variance between returns from that same security or market index. Commonly, the higher the volatility, the riskier the security. In the securities markets, volatility is often associated with big swings in either direction. For example, when the stock market rises and falls more than one percent over a sustained period of time, it is called a 'volatile' market.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Compared with the benchmark TLT (12%) in the period of the last 5 years, the 30 days standard deviation of 0.5% of Short Term Bond Strategy is smaller, thus better.
  • Looking at volatility in of 0.4% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to TLT (10.4%).

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 deviation of 0.7% in the last 5 years of Short Term Bond Strategy, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark TLT (13%)
  • During the last 3 years, the downside volatility is 0.6%, which is smaller, thus better than the value of 11.2% from the benchmark.

Sharpe:

'The Sharpe ratio is the measure of risk-adjusted return of a financial portfolio. Sharpe ratio is a measure of excess portfolio return over the risk-free rate relative to its standard deviation. Normally, the 90-day Treasury bill rate is taken as the proxy for risk-free rate. A portfolio with a higher Sharpe ratio is considered superior relative to its peers. The measure was named after William F Sharpe, a Nobel laureate and professor of finance, emeritus at Stanford University.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Looking at the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of -1.25 in the last 5 years of Short Term Bond Strategy, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark TLT (0.38)
  • Looking at risk / return profile (Sharpe) in of -0.6 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to TLT (0.13).

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Looking at the downside risk / excess return profile of -0.9 in the last 5 years of Short Term Bond Strategy, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark TLT (0.35)
  • Looking at excess return divided by the downside deviation in of -0.37 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to TLT (0.12).

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Looking at the Downside risk index of 0.06 in the last 5 years of Short Term Bond Strategy, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to the benchmark TLT (9.96 )
  • Looking at Ulcer Ratio in of 0.03 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to TLT (8.93 ).

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • The maximum drop from peak to valley over 5 years of Short Term Bond Strategy is -0.4 days, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark TLT (-17.9 days) in the same period.
  • Compared with TLT (-15.3 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley of -0.3 days is larger, 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:
  • Compared with the benchmark TLT (749 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum days below previous high of 43 days of Short Term Bond Strategy is lower, thus better.
  • During the last 3 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark is 17 days, which is lower, thus better than the value of 668 days from the benchmark.

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:
  • The average days below previous high over 5 years of Short Term Bond Strategy is 6 days, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark TLT (282 days) in the same period.
  • Compared with TLT (307 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark of 3 days is smaller, thus better.

Performance of Short Term Bond Strategy (YTD)

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.

Allocations of Short Term Bond Strategy
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Allocations

Returns of Short Term Bond Strategy (%)

  • "Year" returns in the table above are not equal to the sum of monthly returns due to compounding.
  • Performance results of Short Term Bond 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.