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

'The total return on a portfolio of investments takes into account not only the capital appreciation on the portfolio, but also the income received on the portfolio. The income typically consists of interest, dividends, and securities lending fees. This contrasts with the price return, which takes into account only the capital gain on an investment.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The total return over 5 years of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is 182.8%, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (111.3%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the total return is 40.6%, which is greater, thus better than the value of 39.3% from the benchmark.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over 5 years of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is 23.2%, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (16.2%) in the same period.
- Looking at annual performance (CAGR) in of 12% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to SPY (11.7%).

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the historical 30 days volatility of 27.1% in the last 5 years of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (20.9%)
- During the last 3 years, the volatility is 25%, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 17.5% 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (14.9%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside volatility of 19% of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is larger, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the downside risk is 17.2%, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 12.2% from the benchmark.

'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:- Looking at the Sharpe Ratio of 0.76 in the last 5 years of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.66)
- Compared with SPY (0.53) in the period of the last 3 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of 0.38 is smaller, thus worse.

'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:- The downside risk / excess return profile over 5 years of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is 1.09, which is higher, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (0.92) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (0.75) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside risk / excess return profile of 0.55 is lower, thus worse.

'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 (9.32 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Ulcer Ratio of 16 of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is greater, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the Ulcer Index is 20 , which is larger, thus worse than the value of 10 from the benchmark.

'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 (-33.7 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum reduction from previous high of -38.4 days of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is smaller, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (-24.5 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum DrawDown of -38.4 days is lower, thus worse.

'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'

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 525 days, which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (488 days) in the same period.
- Looking at maximum days under water in of 525 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to SPY (488 days).

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The average days below previous high over 5 years of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is 139 days, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (124 days) in the same period.
- Looking at average time in days below previous high water mark in of 195 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to SPY (179 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 and do not account for slippage, fees or taxes.
- Results may be based on backtesting, which has many inherent limitations, some of which are described in our Terms of Use.