The U.S. Market Strategy was designed as an alternative to our Universal Investment Strategy which allocates between SPY (S&P 500 ETF) and TLT (U.S. Treasuries ETF). The equity component of this new strategy switches between SPY (S&P500), QQQ (Nasdaq 100), DIA (Dow 30) and SPLV (S&P 500 low volatility) so it can take advantage of different market conditions. The addition of SPLV provides a good defensive option in times of high market volatility.

In addition to U.S. equities, the strategy utilizes a hedge strategy that switches between TLT, TIP, UUP and GLD.

The strategy's backtests performed substantially better than a simple SPY-TLT investment. All of the component ETFs are very liquid with small spreads making them easy to trade with negligible costs.

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the total return, or performance of 101.1% in the last 5 years of US Market Strategy, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to the benchmark DIA (67.4%)
- Compared with DIA (23.8%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return, or increase in value of 29.3% is higher, thus better.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The annual return (CAGR) over 5 years of US Market Strategy is 15%, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark DIA (10.9%) in the same period.
- Compared with DIA (7.4%) in the period of the last 3 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9% is greater, thus better.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark DIA (20.6%) in the period of the last 5 years, the historical 30 days volatility of 9.1% of US Market Strategy is lower, thus better.
- During the last 3 years, the volatility is 7.7%, which is lower, thus better than the value of 14.8% 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 DIA (14.8%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside deviation of 6.4% of US Market Strategy is lower, thus better.
- Looking at downside volatility in of 5.3% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to DIA (10.4%).

'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:- The risk / return profile (Sharpe) over 5 years of US Market Strategy is 1.38, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark DIA (0.41) in the same period.
- Looking at risk / return profile (Sharpe) in of 0.85 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to DIA (0.33).

'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:- Compared with the benchmark DIA (0.57) in the period of the last 5 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 1.97 of US Market Strategy is larger, thus better.
- Compared with DIA (0.47) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside risk / excess return profile of 1.23 is greater, thus better.

'Ulcer Index is a method for measuring investment risk that addresses the real concerns of investors, unlike the widely used standard deviation of return. UI is a measure of the depth and duration of drawdowns in prices from earlier highs. Using Ulcer Index instead of standard deviation can lead to very different conclusions about investment risk and risk-adjusted return, especially when evaluating strategies that seek to avoid major declines in portfolio value (market timing, dynamic asset allocation, hedge funds, etc.). The Ulcer Index was originally developed in 1987. Since then, it has been widely recognized and adopted by the investment community. According to Nelson Freeburg, editor of Formula Research, Ulcer Index is “perhaps the most fully realized statistical portrait of risk there is.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the Ulcer Ratio of 2.79 in the last 5 years of US Market Strategy, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to the benchmark DIA (7.68 )
- During the last 3 years, the Downside risk index is 3.06 , which is smaller, thus better than the value of 7.1 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the maximum DrawDown of -13.1 days in the last 5 years of US Market Strategy, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to the benchmark DIA (-36.7 days)
- During the last 3 years, the maximum reduction from previous high is -9.2 days, which is higher, thus better than the value of -20.8 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) in days.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The maximum time in days below previous high water mark over 5 years of US Market Strategy is 261 days, which is smaller, thus better compared to the benchmark DIA (477 days) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark is 261 days, which is lower, thus better than the value of 477 days from the benchmark.

'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:- The average time in days below previous high water mark over 5 years of US Market Strategy is 48 days, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark DIA (122 days) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark is 67 days, which is lower, thus better than the value of 169 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 US Market Strategy 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.