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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (57.1%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return, or performance of 89.1% of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is larger, thus better.
- Compared with SPY (32%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return, or performance of 0.7% is smaller, thus worse.

'Compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is a business and investing specific term for the geometric progression ratio that provides a constant rate of return over the time period. CAGR is not an accounting term, but it is often used to describe some element of the business, for example revenue, units delivered, registered users, etc. CAGR dampens the effect of volatility of periodic returns that can render arithmetic means irrelevant. It is particularly useful to compare growth rates from various data sets of common domain such as revenue growth of companies in the same industry.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The annual performance (CAGR) over 5 years of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is 13.6%, which is higher, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (9.5%) in the same period.
- Looking at annual performance (CAGR) in of 0.2% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (9.7%).

'Volatility is a statistical measure of the dispersion of returns for a given security or market index. Volatility can either be measured by using the standard deviation or variance between returns from that same security or market index. Commonly, the higher the volatility, the riskier the security. In the securities markets, volatility is often associated with big swings in either direction. For example, when the stock market rises and falls more than one percent over a sustained period of time, it is called a 'volatile' market.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (21.5%) in the period of the last 5 years, the 30 days standard deviation of 26.3% of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is larger, thus worse.
- Looking at 30 days standard deviation in of 23.2% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to SPY (17.9%).

'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 deviation over 5 years of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is 18.9%, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (15.5%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (12.5%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside risk of 16.6% is greater, thus worse.

'The Sharpe ratio (also known as the Sharpe index, the Sharpe measure, and the reward-to-variability ratio) is a way to examine the performance of an investment by adjusting for its risk. The ratio measures the excess return (or risk premium) per unit of deviation in an investment asset or a trading strategy, typically referred to as risk, named after William F. Sharpe.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.32) in the period of the last 5 years, the Sharpe Ratio of 0.42 of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is higher, thus better.
- During the last 3 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) is -0.1, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.41 from the benchmark.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The ratio of annual return and downside deviation over 5 years of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is 0.59, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (0.45) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the downside risk / excess return profile is -0.14, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.58 from the benchmark.

'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 15 in the last 5 years of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (9.57 )
- Compared with SPY (10 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Ulcer Ratio of 18 is higher, thus worse.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the maximum reduction from previous high 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)
- During the last 3 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley is -38.4 days, which is smaller, thus worse than the value of -24.5 days from the benchmark.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The maximum days below previous high over 5 years of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is 395 days, which is smaller, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (439 days) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (439 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 395 days is smaller, thus better.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The average days below previous high over 5 years of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is 93 days, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (106 days) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the average days under water is 121 days, which is lower, thus better than the value of 149 days from the benchmark.

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.