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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The total return over 5 years of US Market Strategy is 116.5%, which is higher, thus better compared to the benchmark DIA (88%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the total return, or performance is 51.8%, which is higher, thus better than the value of 30% from the benchmark.

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The annual performance (CAGR) over 5 years of US Market Strategy is 16.7%, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark DIA (13.5%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) is 14.9%, which is greater, thus better than the value of 9.1% from the benchmark.

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the historical 30 days volatility of 8.9% in the last 5 years of US Market Strategy, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to the benchmark DIA (20%)
- Looking at volatility in of 10.3% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to DIA (24.1%).

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

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the downside deviation of 6.2% in the last 5 years of US Market Strategy, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to the benchmark DIA (14.5%)
- 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 (17.7%).

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of 1.6 in the last 5 years of US Market Strategy, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to the benchmark DIA (0.55)
- Looking at risk / return profile (Sharpe) in of 1.2 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to DIA (0.27).

'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 excess return divided by the downside deviation of 2.31 in the last 5 years of US Market Strategy, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to the benchmark DIA (0.75)
- Compared with DIA (0.37) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside risk / excess return profile of 1.69 is higher, thus better.

'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 DIA (6.44 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Downside risk index of 1.79 of US Market Strategy is lower, thus better.
- Looking at Ulcer Ratio in of 2.18 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to DIA (8 ).

'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 -15.3 days in the last 5 years of US Market Strategy, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to the benchmark DIA (-36.7 days)
- Looking at maximum DrawDown in of -15.3 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to DIA (-36.7 days).

'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 below previous high of 70 days in the last 5 years of US Market Strategy, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark DIA (161 days)
- During the last 3 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark is 66 days, which is smaller, thus better than the value of 161 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark DIA (44 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average days below previous high of 15 days of US Market Strategy is lower, thus better.
- Compared with DIA (58 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average days under water of 16 days is lower, 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.