Due to announced delisting of UGLD as of July 12, 2020, with last trading day July 2, 2020, we're replacing UGLD by a leveraged GLD position. Therefore the total allocation of the strategy can 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, 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.

- 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

'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:- Looking at the total return of 222.5% 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 (121.2%)
- Compared with SPY (67.5%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return of 88.6% is higher, thus better.

'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:- Looking at the annual performance (CAGR) of 26.4% in the last 5 years of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (17.2%)
- Looking at compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) in of 23.5% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to SPY (18.7%).

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The historical 30 days volatility over 5 years of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is 26.1%, which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (18.7%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the historical 30 days volatility is 30%, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 22.5% from the benchmark.

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

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (13.6%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside risk of 18.8% of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is greater, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the downside volatility is 21.8%, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 16.3% from the benchmark.

'The Sharpe ratio is the measure of risk-adjusted return of a financial portfolio. Sharpe ratio is a measure of excess portfolio return over the risk-free rate relative to its standard deviation. Normally, the 90-day Treasury bill rate is taken as the proxy for risk-free rate. A portfolio with a higher Sharpe ratio is considered superior relative to its peers. The measure was named after William F Sharpe, a Nobel laureate and professor of finance, emeritus at Stanford University.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) over 5 years of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is 0.92, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (0.79) in the same period.
- Looking at Sharpe Ratio in of 0.7 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.72).

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (1.08) in the period of the last 5 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 1.27 of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is larger, thus better.
- Compared with SPY (1) in the period of the last 3 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 0.96 is lower, thus worse.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (5.59 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Ulcer Ratio of 11 of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is larger, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (6.83 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Downside risk index of 11 is higher, thus worse.

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum reduction from previous high of -40.7 days of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is lower, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum DrawDown is -40.7 days, which is lower, thus worse than the value of -33.7 days from the benchmark.

'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:- Looking at the maximum days under water of 265 days 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 (139 days)
- During the last 3 years, the maximum days below previous high is 196 days, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 139 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The average days below previous high over 5 years of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is 57 days, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (33 days) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (35 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark of 55 days is higher, thus worse.

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.