Description

IMPORTANT

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.

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (122.1%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return of 189.5% of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is higher, thus better.
  • During the last 3 years, the total return, or increase in value is 101.8%, which is higher, thus better than the value of 64.6% from the benchmark.

CAGR:

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (17.3%) in the period of the last 5 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.7% of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is larger, thus better.
  • Compared with SPY (18.1%) in the period of the last 3 years, the annual performance (CAGR) of 26.4% is higher, thus better.

Volatility:

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (18.7%) in the period of the last 5 years, the historical 30 days volatility of 26.5% of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is higher, thus worse.
  • During the last 3 years, the 30 days standard deviation is 30.7%, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 22.5% from the benchmark.

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:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (13.6%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside risk of 19.2% of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is larger, thus worse.
  • Looking at downside risk in of 22.2% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to SPY (16.4%).

Sharpe:

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.79) in the period of the last 5 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of 0.8 of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is higher, thus better.
  • Compared with SPY (0.69) in the period of the last 3 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of 0.78 is higher, thus better.

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the downside risk / excess return profile of 1.11 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 (1.09)
  • Compared with SPY (0.95) in the period of the last 3 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 1.08 is larger, thus better.

Ulcer:

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (5.58 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Downside risk index of 13 of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is larger, thus worse.
  • Looking at Ulcer Ratio in of 14 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to SPY (6.83 ).

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • The maximum reduction from previous high over 5 years of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is -40.7 days, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley is -40.7 days, which is smaller, thus worse than the value of -33.7 days from the benchmark.

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum days under water of 265 days of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage is higher, thus worse.
  • Looking at maximum time in days below previous high water mark in of 226 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to SPY (139 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Looking at the average days under water of 68 days in the last 5 years of Universal Investment Strategy 3x Leverage, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (33 days)
  • During the last 3 years, the average days under water is 54 days, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 35 days from the benchmark.

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 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.