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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (72.2%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return, or increase in value of 198% of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy is larger, thus better.
  • Looking at total return, or increase in value in of 86.3% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to SPY (48.3%).

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Looking at the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.4% in the last 5 years of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (11.5%)
  • Compared with SPY (14.1%) in the period of the last 3 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.1% is greater, thus better.

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • The 30 days standard deviation over 5 years of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy is 22.9%, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (13.2%) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the historical 30 days volatility is 21.8%, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 12.4% from the benchmark.

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The downside risk over 5 years of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy is 25.4%, which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (14.5%) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the downside deviation is 24.5%, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 14.1% 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • The ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) over 5 years of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy is 0.96, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (0.68) in the same period.
  • Looking at ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) in of 0.95 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to SPY (0.93).

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:
  • Looking at the downside risk / excess return profile of 0.86 in the last 5 years of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.62)
  • Compared with SPY (0.82) in the period of the last 3 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 0.84 is greater, 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:
  • Looking at the Downside risk index of 14 in the last 5 years of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (3.95 )
  • Looking at Ulcer Ratio in of 16 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus better 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:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (-19.3 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum reduction from previous high of -38.3 days of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy is lower, thus worse.
  • Looking at maximum reduction from previous high in of -38.3 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (-19.3 days).

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'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (187 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum days under water of 311 days of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy is higher, thus worse.
  • Compared with SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum days under water of 311 days is higher, thus worse.

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:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (41 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average days under water of 99 days of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy is larger, thus worse.
  • Compared with SPY (36 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark of 91 days is larger, thus worse.

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.