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:

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the total return, or performance of 6.5% in the last 5 years of Short Term Bond Strategy, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SHY (3.6%)
  • During the last 3 years, the total return, or increase in value is 1.3%, which is larger, thus better than the value of -0.1% from the benchmark.

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:
  • Looking at the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.3% in the last 5 years of Short Term Bond Strategy, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SHY (0.7%)
  • During the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) is 0.4%, which is larger, thus better than the value of 0% from the benchmark.

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The volatility over 5 years of Short Term Bond Strategy is 3.2%, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SHY (1.2%) in the same period.
  • Compared with SHY (1.4%) in the period of the last 3 years, the volatility of 4.2% 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:
  • Looking at the downside volatility of 2.9% in the last 5 years of Short Term Bond Strategy, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SHY (0.8%)
  • During the last 3 years, the downside deviation is 3.8%, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 1% from the benchmark.

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SHY (-1.48) in the period of the last 5 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of -0.38 of Short Term Bond Strategy is greater, thus better.
  • Compared with SHY (-1.85) in the period of the last 3 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of -0.5 is larger, thus better.

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • The ratio of annual return and downside deviation over 5 years of Short Term Bond Strategy is -0.42, which is higher, thus better compared to the benchmark SHY (-2.14) in the same period.
  • Compared with SHY (-2.58) in the period of the last 3 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of -0.55 is higher, thus better.

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:
  • Compared with the benchmark SHY (0.98 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Ulcer Ratio of 0.72 of Short Term Bond Strategy is lower, thus better.
  • Compared with SHY (1.19 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Ulcer Ratio of 0.94 is smaller, thus better.

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for 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 smaller, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SHY (-4.7 days)
  • Compared with SHY (-4.7 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley of -9.6 days is lower, thus worse.

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). Many assume Max DD Duration is the length of time between new highs during which the Max DD (magnitude) occurred. But that isn’t always the case. The Max DD duration is the longest time between peaks, period. So it could be the time when the program also had its biggest peak to valley loss (and usually is, because the program needs a long time to recover from the largest loss), but it doesn’t have to be'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SHY (308 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum days under water of 195 days of Short Term Bond Strategy is smaller, thus better.
  • During the last 3 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark is 195 days, which is lower, thus better than the value of 226 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 below previous high over 5 years of Short Term Bond Strategy is 49 days, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SHY (80 days) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the average days under water is 65 days, which is greater, thus worse than the value of 60 days from the benchmark.

Performance (YTD)

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.

Allocations ()

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.