Description of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy

The 3X Universal Investment Strategy (UISx3) is a leveraged version of our core Universal Investment Strategy (UIS), an evolved, intelligent version of the classic 60/40 equity/bond portfolio that can adapt to current conditions, shifting portfolio weight away from stocks in difficult markets and adding weight to equity in bull runs.

The 3x leveraged version of the strategy employs SPXL, TMF and UGLD, which are the leveraged versions of the S&P 500 ETF, the Treasury 20+ year ETF and the Gold ETF. Unlike the base UIS, the leveraged version only uses TMF and UGLD to hedge SPXL exposure.

The UISx3 is appropriate for investors who are comfortable taking on higher risks in exchange for the potential for of higher returns. Because leveraged ETFs are used, we recommend allocating no more than 15% of your total portfolio to this strategy.

Methodology & Assets
  • SPXL - Direxion Daily S&P 500 Bull 3X Shares ETF
  • TMF - Direxion Daily 30-Year Treasury Bull 3x Shares ETF
  • UGLD - VelocityShares 3x Long Gold ETN

Statistics of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy (YTD)

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

TotalReturn:

'Total return is the amount of value an investor earns from a security over a specific period, typically one year, when all distributions are reinvested. Total return is expressed as a percentage of the amount invested. For example, a total return of 20% means the security increased by 20% of its original value due to a price increase, distribution of dividends (if a stock), coupons (if a bond) or capital gains (if a fund). Total return is a strong measure of an investment’s overall performance.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (63%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return, or increase in value of 239.9% of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy is greater, thus better.
  • During the last 3 years, the total return, or increase in value is 90%, which is larger, thus better than the value of 39.8% 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (10.3%) in the period of the last 5 years, the annual return (CAGR) of 27.7% of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy is greater, thus better.
  • During the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) is 23.9%, which is larger, thus better than the value of 11.8% from the benchmark.

Volatility:

'In finance, volatility (symbol σ) is the degree of variation of a trading price series over time as measured by the standard deviation of logarithmic returns. Historic volatility measures a time series of past market prices. Implied volatility looks forward in time, being derived from the market price of a market-traded derivative (in particular, an option). Commonly, the higher the volatility, the riskier the security.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • The volatility over 5 years of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy is 23.1%, which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (13.6%) in the same period.
  • Compared with SPY (12.7%) in the period of the last 3 years, the volatility of 21.6% is larger, thus worse.

DownVol:

'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 risk of 25.7% in the last 5 years of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (14.9%)
  • During the last 3 years, the downside volatility is 24.5%, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 14.4% 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The Sharpe Ratio over 5 years of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy is 1.09, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (0.57) in the same period.
  • Compared with SPY (0.73) in the period of the last 3 years, the Sharpe Ratio of 0.99 is greater, thus better.

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Looking at the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 0.98 in the last 5 years of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.52)
  • During the last 3 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation is 0.87, which is higher, thus better than the value of 0.65 from the benchmark.

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (4.01 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Downside risk index of 14 of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy is higher, thus worse.
  • Looking at Downside risk index in of 16 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to SPY (4.08 ).

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:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (-19.3 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum DrawDown of -38.3 days of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy is smaller, thus worse.
  • Compared with SPY (-19.3 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum reduction from previous high of -38.3 days is smaller, thus worse.

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 SPY (187 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum days below previous high of 350 days of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy is greater, thus worse.
  • Looking at maximum days under water in of 350 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to SPY (139 days).

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:
  • The average time in days below previous high water mark over 5 years of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy is 109 days, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (41 days) in the same period.
  • Looking at average days under water in of 105 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to SPY (36 days).

Performance of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy (YTD)

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.

Allocations of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy
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Allocations

Returns of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy (%)

  • "Year" returns in the table above are not equal to the sum of monthly returns due to compounding.
  • Performance results of Leveraged Universal Investment 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.