IMPORTANT: This strategy may use a leveraged GLD position which may cause the total allocation of the strategy to exceed 100%. See more information in this article.

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 and TMF, which are the leveraged versions of the S&P 500 ETF, the Treasury 20+ year ETF. Since there is currently no leveraged gold ETF the strategy uses a triple position in GLD. Unlike the base UIS, the leveraged version only uses TMF and GLD 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.

- SPXL - Direxion Daily S&P 500 Bull 3X Shares ETF
- TMF - Direxion Daily 30-Year Treasury Bull 3x Shares ETF
- GLD - SPDR Gold Trust

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The total return, or increase in value over 5 years of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is 140.1%, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (80.4%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the total return, or performance is 8.9%, which is smaller, thus worse than the value of 30.7% from the benchmark.

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (12.6%) in the period of the last 5 years, the annual performance (CAGR) of 19.2% of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is higher, thus better.
- During the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) is 2.9%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 9.4% from the benchmark.

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (21.3%) in the period of the last 5 years, the volatility of 26.3% of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is larger, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the 30 days standard deviation is 22.9%, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 17.6% from the benchmark.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (15.3%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside risk of 18.7% of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is larger, thus worse.
- Looking at downside deviation in of 16.3% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to SPY (12.3%).

'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 ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) over 5 years of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is 0.64, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (0.47) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (0.39) in the period of the last 3 years, the Sharpe Ratio of 0.02 is lower, thus worse.

'The Sortino ratio measures the risk-adjusted return of an investment asset, portfolio, or strategy. It is a modification of the Sharpe ratio but penalizes only those returns falling below a user-specified target or required rate of return, while the Sharpe ratio penalizes both upside and downside volatility equally. Though both ratios measure an investment's risk-adjusted return, they do so in significantly different ways that will frequently lead to differing conclusions as to the true nature of the investment's return-generating efficiency. The Sortino ratio is used as a way to compare the risk-adjusted performance of programs with differing risk and return profiles. In general, risk-adjusted returns seek to normalize the risk across programs and then see which has the higher return unit per risk.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 0.89 in the last 5 years of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.66)
- Looking at downside risk / excess return profile in of 0.02 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.56).

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (9.43 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Ulcer Index of 16 of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is larger, thus worse.
- Looking at Ulcer Ratio in of 19 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to SPY (10 ).

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the maximum drop from peak to valley of -38.4 days in the last 5 years of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days)
- Compared with SPY (-24.5 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley of -38.4 days is lower, thus worse.

'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:- The maximum time in days below previous high water mark over 5 years of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is 435 days, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (479 days) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum days under water is 435 days, which is smaller, thus better than the value of 479 days from the benchmark.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the average time in days below previous high water mark of 107 days in the last 5 years of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (119 days)
- Looking at average days below previous high in of 143 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (173 days).

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.
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- Note that yearly returns do not equal the sum of monthly returns due to compounding.
- Performance results of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage 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.