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.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the total return, or performance of 107.6% in the last 5 years of US Market Strategy, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark DIA (114.2%)
- Compared with DIA (50.3%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return, or performance of 46.4% is smaller, thus worse.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark DIA (16.5%) in the period of the last 5 years, the annual performance (CAGR) of 15.7% of US Market Strategy is lower, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) is 13.5%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 14.5% from the benchmark.

'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:- Looking at the historical 30 days volatility of 9.2% in the last 5 years of US Market Strategy, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to the benchmark DIA (19.9%)
- Looking at volatility in of 10.5% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to DIA (24%).

'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:- Looking at the downside deviation of 6.4% in the last 5 years of US Market Strategy, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark DIA (14.4%)
- Looking at downside risk in of 7.4% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to DIA (17.4%).

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark DIA (0.7) in the period of the last 5 years, the Sharpe Ratio of 1.45 of US Market Strategy is larger, thus better.
- During the last 3 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) is 1.05, which is greater, thus better than the value of 0.5 from the benchmark.

'The Sortino ratio measures the risk-adjusted return of an investment asset, portfolio, or strategy. It is a modification of the Sharpe ratio but penalizes only those returns falling below a user-specified target or required rate of return, while the Sharpe ratio penalizes both upside and downside volatility equally. Though both ratios measure an investment's risk-adjusted return, they do so in significantly different ways that will frequently lead to differing conclusions as to the true nature of the investment's return-generating efficiency. The Sortino ratio is used as a way to compare the risk-adjusted performance of programs with differing risk and return profiles. In general, risk-adjusted returns seek to normalize the risk across programs and then see which has the higher return unit per risk.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the downside risk / excess return profile of 2.07 in the last 5 years of US Market Strategy, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to the benchmark DIA (0.97)
- Looking at downside risk / excess return profile in of 1.48 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to DIA (0.69).

'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:- The Downside risk index over 5 years of US Market Strategy is 1.93 , which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark DIA (6.28 ) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the Ulcer Ratio is 2.39 , which is smaller, thus better than the value of 7.57 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark DIA (-36.7 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum DrawDown of -15.3 days of US Market Strategy is greater, thus better.
- Compared with DIA (-36.7 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum DrawDown of -15.3 days is greater, thus better.

'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'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 81 days in the last 5 years of US Market Strategy, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark DIA (187 days)
- During the last 3 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark is 81 days, which is lower, thus better than the value of 187 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The average days under water over 5 years of US Market Strategy is 17 days, which is smaller, thus better compared to the benchmark DIA (47 days) in the same period.
- Compared with DIA (48 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark of 19 days is smaller, thus better.

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, 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.