Description of US Market Strategy

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. 

 

Statistics of US Market Strategy (YTD)

What do these metrics mean? [Read More] [Hide]

TotalReturn:

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Compared with the benchmark DIA (77.1%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return, or performance of 77.1% of US Market Strategy is higher, thus better.
  • During the last 3 years, the total return, or performance is 33.5%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 58.1% from the benchmark.

CAGR:

'The compound annual growth rate isn't a true return rate, but rather a representational figure. It is essentially a number that describes the rate at which an investment would have grown if it had grown the same rate every year and the profits were reinvested at the end of each year. In reality, this sort of performance is unlikely. However, CAGR can be used to smooth returns so that they may be more easily understood when compared to alternative investments.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Compared with the benchmark DIA (12.1%) in the period of the last 5 years, the annual performance (CAGR) of 12.1% of US Market Strategy is larger, thus better.
  • Compared with DIA (16.6%) in the period of the last 3 years, the annual performance (CAGR) of 10.1% is lower, thus worse.

Volatility:

'Volatility is a rate at which the price of a security increases or decreases for a given set of returns. Volatility is measured by calculating the standard deviation of the annualized returns over a given period of time. It shows the range to which the price of a security may increase or decrease. Volatility measures the risk of a security. It is used in option pricing formula to gauge the fluctuations in the returns of the underlying assets. Volatility indicates the pricing behavior of the security and helps estimate the fluctuations that may happen in a short period of time.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Looking at the volatility of 7% in the last 5 years of US Market Strategy, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark DIA (13.6%)
  • During the last 3 years, the 30 days standard deviation is 6.3%, which is smaller, thus better than the value of 13.1% from the benchmark.

DownVol:

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • The downside deviation over 5 years of US Market Strategy is 7.9%, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark DIA (15.1%) in the same period.
  • Looking at downside volatility in of 7.7% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to DIA (15.1%).

Sharpe:

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Looking at the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of 1.38 in the last 5 years of US Market Strategy, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to the benchmark DIA (0.71)
  • During the last 3 years, the Sharpe Ratio is 1.21, which is higher, thus better than the value of 1.07 from the benchmark.

Sortino:

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Compared with the benchmark DIA (0.64) in the period of the last 5 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 1.22 of US Market Strategy is greater, thus better.
  • Looking at excess return divided by the downside deviation in of 1 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to DIA (0.93).

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Looking at the Downside risk index of 1.76 in the last 5 years of US Market Strategy, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark DIA (4.26 )
  • During the last 3 years, the Ulcer Ratio is 1.85 , which is lower, thus better than the value of 4.23 from the benchmark.

MaxDD:

'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 (-18.1 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum reduction from previous high of -6.9 days of US Market Strategy is greater, thus better.
  • During the last 3 years, the maximum reduction from previous high is -6.9 days, which is higher, thus better than the value of -18.1 days from the benchmark.

MaxDuration:

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Looking at the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 137 days in the last 5 years of US Market Strategy, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to the benchmark DIA (227 days)
  • Looking at maximum time in days below previous high water mark in of 137 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to DIA (161 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • The average days under water over 5 years of US Market Strategy is 32 days, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark DIA (54 days) in the same period.
  • Compared with DIA (45 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark of 30 days is smaller, thus better.

Performance of US Market Strategy (YTD)

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.

Allocations of US Market Strategy
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Allocations

Returns of US Market Strategy (%)

  • 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.