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:

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Compared with the benchmark ACWI (41.4%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return, or performance of 87% of World Top 4 Strategy is higher, thus better.
  • Compared with ACWI (37.2%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return, or performance of 45.6% is larger, 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Looking at the annual return (CAGR) of 13.4% in the last 5 years of World Top 4 Strategy, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to the benchmark ACWI (7.2%)
  • Looking at annual performance (CAGR) in of 13.4% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to ACWI (11.1%).

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:
  • Looking at the volatility of 6.6% in the last 5 years of World Top 4 Strategy, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark ACWI (13.2%)
  • Compared with ACWI (12.2%) in the period of the last 3 years, the volatility of 5.6% is lower, thus better.

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:
  • Looking at the downside volatility of 7.2% in the last 5 years of World Top 4 Strategy, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to the benchmark ACWI (14.5%)
  • Compared with ACWI (14%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside risk of 6.4% 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The Sharpe Ratio over 5 years of World Top 4 Strategy is 1.64, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark ACWI (0.35) in the same period.
  • Compared with ACWI (0.71) in the period of the last 3 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of 1.93 is greater, thus better.

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Compared with the benchmark ACWI (0.32) in the period of the last 5 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 1.52 of World Top 4 Strategy is higher, thus better.
  • During the last 3 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation is 1.69, which is larger, thus better than the value of 0.62 from the benchmark.

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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Looking at the Downside risk index of 2.61 in the last 5 years of World Top 4 Strategy, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark ACWI (6.16 )
  • Looking at Downside risk index in of 1.75 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to ACWI (5.04 ).

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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Compared with the benchmark ACWI (-19.5 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley of -8.2 days of World Top 4 Strategy is larger, thus better.
  • Looking at maximum DrawDown in of -5.3 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to ACWI (-19.5 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). 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'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Compared with the benchmark ACWI (408 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum days under water of 206 days of World Top 4 Strategy is smaller, thus better.
  • During the last 3 years, the maximum days below previous high is 145 days, which is smaller, thus better than the value of 311 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:
  • Compared with the benchmark ACWI (125 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average days below previous high of 44 days of World Top 4 Strategy is lower, thus better.
  • Compared with ACWI (82 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark of 35 days is lower, thus better.

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 (%)

  • "Year" returns in the table above are not equal to 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.