Description

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 (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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (47.8%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return, or performance of 205.4% of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy is greater, thus better.
  • During the last 3 years, the total return, or performance is 127.5%, which is higher, thus better than the value of 25.4% from the benchmark.

CAGR:

'The compound annual growth rate isn't a true return rate, but rather a representational figure. It is essentially a number that describes the rate at which an investment would have grown if it had grown the same rate every year and the profits were reinvested at the end of each year. In reality, this sort of performance is unlikely. However, CAGR can be used to smooth returns so that they may be more easily understood when compared to alternative investments.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (8.1%) in the period of the last 5 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25% of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy is larger, thus better.
  • Looking at annual performance (CAGR) in of 31.5% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to SPY (7.8%).

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:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (18.3%) in the period of the last 5 years, the volatility of 24.9% of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy is greater, thus worse.
  • Looking at 30 days standard deviation in of 26.9% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to SPY (20.8%).

DownVol:

'The downside volatility is similar to the volatility, or standard deviation, but only takes losing/negative periods into account.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the downside risk of 18% in the last 5 years of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (13.4%)
  • Looking at downside deviation in of 19.8% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to SPY (15.3%).

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:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.31) in the period of the last 5 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of 0.9 of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy is greater, thus better.
  • During the last 3 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) is 1.08, which is higher, thus better than the value of 0.26 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.42) in the period of the last 5 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 1.25 of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy is higher, thus better.
  • Compared with SPY (0.35) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside risk / excess return profile of 1.47 is greater, thus better.

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (5.29 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Ulcer Ratio of 9.94 of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy is greater, thus worse.
  • During the last 3 years, the Ulcer Ratio is 9.03 , which is greater, thus worse than the value of 6.1 from the benchmark.

MaxDD:

'Maximum drawdown is defined as the peak-to-trough decline of an investment during a specific period. It is usually quoted as a percentage of the peak value. The maximum drawdown can be calculated based on absolute returns, in order to identify strategies that suffer less during market downturns, such as low-volatility strategies. However, the maximum drawdown can also be calculated based on returns relative to a benchmark index, for identifying strategies that show steady outperformance over time.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Looking at the maximum drop from peak to valley of -42.7 days in the last 5 years of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days)
  • Compared with SPY (-33.7 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum reduction from previous high of -42.7 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:
  • Looking at the maximum days under water of 265 days in the last 5 years of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (187 days)
  • Looking at maximum days under water in of 265 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to SPY (139 days).

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 (42 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average days below previous high of 64 days of Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy is greater, thus worse.
  • Looking at average days under water in of 62 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to SPY (36 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 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.