Description

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.

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

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (75.6%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return of 87.5% of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is greater, thus better.
  • Looking at total return, or performance in of 15.2% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (40%).

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • The annual performance (CAGR) over 5 years of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is 13.4%, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (11.9%) in the same period.
  • Compared with SPY (11.9%) in the period of the last 3 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.8% is smaller, thus worse.

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The volatility over 5 years of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is 28.4%, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (20.3%) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the historical 30 days volatility is 33.4%, which is greater, thus worse than the value of 23.6% 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (14.9%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside deviation of 20.9% of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is higher, thus worse.
  • During the last 3 years, the downside volatility is 24.8%, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 17.3% 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • The risk / return profile (Sharpe) over 5 years of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is 0.38, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.46) in the same period.
  • Looking at ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) in of 0.07 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.4).

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.63) in the period of the last 5 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 0.52 of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is smaller, thus worse.
  • Compared with SPY (0.54) in the period of the last 3 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 0.09 is smaller, thus worse.

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 (6.62 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Downside risk index of 17 of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is greater, thus worse.
  • Looking at Downside risk index in of 21 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to SPY (7.55 ).

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum DrawDown of -48.8 days of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is lower, thus worse.
  • Compared with SPY (-33.7 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley of -48.8 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) in days.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum days below previous high of 456 days of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is greater, thus worse.
  • Looking at maximum days under water in of 456 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to SPY (120 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:
  • Looking at the average days below previous high of 129 days 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 (37 days)
  • Looking at average days under water in of 160 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to SPY (31 days).

Performance (YTD)

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.

Allocations ()

Allocations

Returns (%)

  • 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.