Description

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 (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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Compared with the benchmark TLT (17.9%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return of 9.9% of Short Term Bond Strategy is smaller, thus worse.
  • During the last 3 years, the total return, or increase in value is 5.7%, which is smaller, thus worse than the value of 26.7% from the benchmark.

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:
  • The compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over 5 years of Short Term Bond Strategy is 1.9%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark TLT (3.3%) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) is 1.9%, which is smaller, thus worse than the value of 8.2% from the benchmark.

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Looking at the 30 days standard deviation of 3.2% in the last 5 years of Short Term Bond Strategy, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to the benchmark TLT (13.9%)
  • Compared with TLT (15.5%) in the period of the last 3 years, the volatility of 4.2% is smaller, thus better.

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:
  • Looking at the downside volatility of 2.9% in the last 5 years of Short Term Bond Strategy, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark TLT (9.6%)
  • Compared with TLT (10.5%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside volatility of 3.8% is lower, 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 -0.18 in the last 5 years of Short Term Bond Strategy, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark TLT (0.06)
  • During the last 3 years, the Sharpe Ratio is -0.15, which is smaller, thus worse than the value of 0.37 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Compared with the benchmark TLT (0.09) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside risk / excess return profile of -0.2 of Short Term Bond Strategy is lower, thus worse.
  • During the last 3 years, the downside risk / excess return profile is -0.17, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.55 from the benchmark.

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Compared with the benchmark TLT (11 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Downside risk index of 0.68 of Short Term Bond Strategy is lower, thus better.
  • Looking at Ulcer Index in of 0.88 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to TLT (7.56 ).

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 DrawDown of -9.6 days in the last 5 years of Short Term Bond Strategy, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to the benchmark TLT (-21.3 days)
  • Looking at maximum reduction from previous high in of -9.6 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to TLT (-21.3 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:
  • Looking at the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 195 days in the last 5 years of Short Term Bond Strategy, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark TLT (749 days)
  • During the last 3 years, the maximum days below previous high is 195 days, which is lower, thus better than the value of 215 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The average days under water over 5 years of Short Term Bond Strategy is 34 days, which is smaller, thus better compared to the benchmark TLT (257 days) in the same period.
  • Looking at average days under water in of 52 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to TLT (60 days).

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 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.