Description of Volatility less than 15%

This portfolio has been optimized for achieving the highest possible return while limiting the historical volatility to 15% or less over the analyzed period. As a reference, the volatility limit of 15% is slightly below the historical volatility, or risk, of the SPDR S&P 500 (SPY). This is an aggressive portfolio suited for investors with a relatively high risk tolerance and aggressive growth expectations.

Please note that this portfolio might use leveraged ETF and single stocks. Should these not be allowed in your retirement account please see our 401k and IRS compatible Conservative, Moderate, and Aggressive Risk Portfolios. Contact us for special requirements.

Methodology & Assets
This portfolio is constructed by our proprietary optimization alogrithm based on Modern Portfolio Theory pioneered by Nobel Laureate Harry Markowitz. Using historical returns, the algorithm finds the asset allocation that produced the highest return with volatility less than 15%.

While this portfolio provides an optimized asset allocation based on historical returns, your investment objectives, risk profile and personal experience are important factors when deciding on the best investment vehicle for yourself. You can also use the Portfolio Builder or Portfolio Optimizer to construct your own personalized portfolio.

Assets and weight constraints used in the optimizer process:
  • Bond ETF Rotation Strategy (BRS) (0% to 100%)
  • BUG Permanent Portfolio Strategy (BUG) (0% to 100%)
  • World Top 4 Strategy (WTOP4) (0% to 100%)
  • Global Sector Rotation Strategy (GSRS) (0% to 100%)
  • Global Market Rotation Strategy (GMRS) (0% to 100%)
  • Maximum Yield Strategy (MYRS) (0% to 100%)
  • NASDAQ 100 Strategy (NAS100) (0% to 100%)
  • Leveraged Gold-Currency Strategy (GLD-USD) (0% to 100%)
  • US Sector Rotation Strategy (USSECT) (0% to 100%)
  • Leveraged Universal Investment Strategy (UISx3) (0% to 100%)
  • US Market Strategy (USMarket) (0% to 100%)
  • Dow 30 Strategy (DOW30) (0% to 100%)
  • Universal Investment Strategy (UIS) (0% to 100%)

Statistics of Volatility less than 15% (YTD)

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

TotalReturn:

'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:
  • The total return over 5 years of Volatility less than 15% is 213.8%, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (71.8%) in the same period.
  • Compared with SPY (48%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return of 100.2% is higher, thus better.

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:
  • The compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over 5 years of Volatility less than 15% is 25.7%, which is higher, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (11.4%) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) is 26%, which is higher, thus better than the value of 13.9% from the benchmark.

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the historical 30 days volatility of 12.4% in the last 5 years of Volatility less than 15%, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (13.2%)
  • Compared with SPY (12.4%) in the period of the last 3 years, the historical 30 days volatility of 11.9% is lower, thus better.

DownVol:

'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 risk of 14.2% in the last 5 years of Volatility less than 15%, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (14.5%)
  • During the last 3 years, the downside risk is 13.8%, which is lower, thus better than the value of 14.1% from the benchmark.

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Looking at the Sharpe Ratio of 1.87 in the last 5 years of Volatility less than 15%, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.68)
  • Compared with SPY (0.92) in the period of the last 3 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of 1.97 is higher, thus better.

Sortino:

'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 SPY (0.62) in the period of the last 5 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 1.63 of Volatility less than 15% is higher, thus better.
  • Looking at excess return divided by the downside deviation in of 1.71 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to SPY (0.81).

Ulcer:

'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 Index of 2.73 in the last 5 years of Volatility less than 15%, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (3.95 )
  • Looking at Ulcer Index in of 2.68 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (4 ).

MaxDD:

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the maximum DrawDown of -9.9 days in the last 5 years of Volatility less than 15%, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (-19.3 days)
  • Looking at maximum DrawDown in of -9.9 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to SPY (-19.3 days).

MaxDuration:

'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 days below previous high over 5 years of Volatility less than 15% is 106 days, which is smaller, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (187 days) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the maximum days under water is 106 days, which is lower, thus better than the value of 139 days from the benchmark.

AveDuration:

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Compared with the benchmark SPY (41 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average days under water of 20 days of Volatility less than 15% is smaller, thus better.
  • Looking at average days under water in of 21 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (36 days).

Performance of Volatility less than 15% (YTD)

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.

Allocations of Volatility less than 15%
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Allocations

Returns of Volatility less than 15% (%)

  • "Year" returns in the table above are not equal to the sum of monthly returns due to compounding.
  • Performance results of Volatility less than 15% 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.