Description of World Top 4 Strategy

The World Country Top 4 Strategy is a momentum driven strategy that invests in the top four single country ETFs. It will add geographic diversity to your portfolio with significant non-U.S. equity exposure.

The strategy consists of four sub-strategies. Each sub-strategy invests in the best country ETF in a specific geographic area (i.e., Africa, Asia, Latin America, etc). These strategies are then combined to yield four country ETFs that come from different geographic segments, thus avoiding overconcentration. So even if one region is outperforming all the other areas, this strategy will still diversify among three additional top performing regions.

Like our other equity-based strategies, this strategy is hedged with a sub-strategy (HEDGE) that includes, amongst others, safe heaven assets like treasuries and gold.

Methodology & Assets

Country ETFs:

  • AFK Market Vectors Africa Index
  • ASHR Deutsche X-Trackers CSI 300 China A Shares
  • ECH iShares MSCI Chile Fund
  • EGPT Market Vectors Egypt Index
  • EIDO iShares MSCI Indonesia Index
  • EIRL iShares MSCI Ireland Capped
  • EIS iShares MSCI Israel
  • ENZL iShares MSCI New Zealand Investable Market
  • EPHE iShares MSCI Philippines
  • EPI WisdomTree India Earnings Index
  • EPOL iShares MSCI Poland Index
  • EPU iShares MSCI Peru Index
  • EWA iShares MSCI Australia Index Fund
  • EWC iShares MSCI Canada Index Fund
  • EWD iShares MSCI Sweden Index
  • EWG iShares MSCI Germany Index
  • EWH iShares MSCI Hong Kong Index Fund
  • EWI iShares MSCI Italy Index
  • EWJ iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund
  • EWK iShares MSCI Belgium Index
  • EWL iShares MSCI Switzerland
  • EWM iShares MSCI Malaysia Index Fund
  • EWN iShares MSCI Netherlands Index
  • EWO iShares MSCI Austria Index
  • EWP iShares MSCI Spain Index
  • EWQ iShares MSCI France
  • EWS iShares MSCI Singapore Index
  • EWT iShares MSCI Taiwan Index Fund
  • EWU iShares MSCI United Kingdom Index
  • EWW iShares MSCI Mexico Index Fund
  • EWY iShares MSCI South Korea Index Fund
  • EWZ iShares MSCI Brazil Index Fund
  • EZA iShares MSCI South Africa Index
  • FM iShares MSCI Frontier Markets ETF
  • FRN Guggenheim BNY Mellon Frontier Mkts
  • FXI iShares FTSE China 25 Index Fund
  • GAF SPDR S&P E.M. Middle East & Africa
  • GULF WisdomTree Middle East Dividend Index
  • GREK Global X FTSE Greece 20
  • GXG Global X Interbolsa FTSE Colombia 20
  • IDX Market Vectors Indonesia
  • MCHI iShares MSCI China Index
  • MES Market Vectors DJ Gulf States (GCC) Titans
  • NORW Global X FTSE Norway 30 ETF
  • QQQ PowerShares Nasdaq-100 Index
  • RSX Market Vectors DAXglobal Russia
  • THD iShares MSCI Thailand Index
  • TUR iShares MSCI Turkey
  • VNM Market Vectors Vietnam

Statistics of World Top 4 Strategy (YTD)

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

TotalReturn:

'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:
  • The total return, or performance over 5 years of World Top 4 Strategy is 75.3%, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark ACWI (43.7%) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the total return, or increase in value is 40.6%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 42% from the benchmark.

CAGR:

'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 World Top 4 Strategy is 11.9%, which is higher, thus better compared to the benchmark ACWI (7.5%) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the annual performance (CAGR) is 12.1%, which is smaller, thus worse than the value of 12.5% from the benchmark.

Volatility:

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Compared with the benchmark ACWI (13.5%) in the period of the last 5 years, the historical 30 days volatility of 6.5% of World Top 4 Strategy is lower, thus better.
  • Looking at volatility in of 5.5% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to ACWI (11.9%).

DownVol:

'Downside risk is the financial risk associated with losses. That is, it is the risk of the actual return being below the expected return, or the uncertainty about the magnitude of that difference. 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:
  • Compared with the benchmark ACWI (14.8%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside volatility of 7.2% of World Top 4 Strategy is smaller, thus better.
  • Compared with ACWI (13.8%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside volatility of 6.5% is lower, thus better.

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:
  • The Sharpe Ratio over 5 years of World Top 4 Strategy is 1.44, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark ACWI (0.37) in the same period.
  • Compared with ACWI (0.83) in the period of the last 3 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of 1.75 is larger, thus better.

Sortino:

'The Sortino ratio improves upon the Sharpe ratio by isolating downside volatility from total volatility by dividing excess return by the downside deviation. The Sortino ratio is a variation of the Sharpe ratio that differentiates harmful volatility from total overall volatility by using the asset's standard deviation of negative asset returns, called downside deviation. The Sortino ratio takes the asset's return and subtracts the risk-free rate, and then divides that amount by the asset's downside deviation. The ratio was named after Frank A. Sortino.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Compared with the benchmark ACWI (0.34) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside risk / excess return profile of 1.31 of World Top 4 Strategy is greater, thus better.
  • Compared with ACWI (0.72) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside risk / excess return profile of 1.47 is higher, thus better.

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The Ulcer Ratio over 5 years of World Top 4 Strategy is 2.51 , which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark ACWI (6.17 ) in the same period.
  • Compared with ACWI (5.15 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Ulcer Index of 1.52 is lower, thus better.

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Looking at the maximum reduction from previous high of -8.6 days in the last 5 years of World Top 4 Strategy, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to the benchmark ACWI (-19.5 days)
  • Looking at maximum reduction from previous high in of -5.1 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to ACWI (-19.5 days).

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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the maximum days below previous high of 206 days in the last 5 years of World Top 4 Strategy, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark ACWI (407 days)
  • During the last 3 years, the maximum days below previous high is 101 days, which is smaller, thus better than the value of 373 days from the benchmark.

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The average days under water over 5 years of World Top 4 Strategy is 44 days, which is smaller, thus better compared to the benchmark ACWI (139 days) in the same period.
  • Looking at average days below previous high in of 31 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to ACWI (114 days).

Performance of World Top 4 Strategy (YTD)

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.

Allocations of World Top 4 Strategy
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Allocations

Returns of World Top 4 Strategy (%)

  • Note that yearly returns do not equal the sum of monthly returns due to compounding.
  • Performance results of World Top 4 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.