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 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The total return, or increase in value over 5 years of US Market Strategy is 81%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark DIA (89.4%) in the same period.
- Looking at total return, or performance in of 37.4% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to DIA (47%).

'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 compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over 5 years of US Market Strategy is 12.6%, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark DIA (13.6%) in the same period.
- Compared with DIA (13.7%) in the period of the last 3 years, the annual performance (CAGR) of 11.2% is lower, thus worse.

'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:- Looking at the 30 days standard deviation of 9.3% in the last 5 years of US Market Strategy, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to the benchmark DIA (20%)
- During the last 3 years, the historical 30 days volatility is 10.8%, which is lower, thus better than the value of 23.3% 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the downside volatility of 6.5% in the last 5 years of US Market Strategy, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to the benchmark DIA (14.6%)
- Compared with DIA (16.9%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside deviation of 7.7% is smaller, thus better.

'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 DIA (0.56) in the period of the last 5 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of 1.09 of US Market Strategy is larger, thus better.
- Compared with DIA (0.48) in the period of the last 3 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of 0.8 is larger, thus better.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the downside risk / excess return profile of 1.54 in the last 5 years of US Market Strategy, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to the benchmark DIA (0.76)
- Compared with DIA (0.66) in the period of the last 3 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 1.13 is larger, thus better.

'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 DIA (6.31 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Downside risk index of 2.06 of US Market Strategy is smaller, thus better.
- Looking at Ulcer Ratio in of 2.53 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to DIA (7.06 ).

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark DIA (-36.7 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley 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 drop from peak to valley of -15.3 days is higher, 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:- Compared with the benchmark DIA (187 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 97 days of US Market Strategy is lower, thus better.
- Looking at maximum days under water in of 97 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to DIA (187 days).

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The average days under water over 5 years of US Market Strategy is 20 days, which is smaller, thus better compared to the benchmark DIA (45 days) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the average days under water is 25 days, which is smaller, thus better than the value of 38 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, 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.