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 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:
  • Compared with the benchmark ACWI (37.5%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return, or performance of 66.2% of World Top 4 Strategy is higher, thus better.
  • During the last 3 years, the total return is 38.4%, which is larger, thus better than the value of 37.2% from the benchmark.

CAGR:

'The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is a useful measure of growth over multiple time periods. It can be thought of as the growth rate that gets you from the initial investment value to the ending investment value if you assume that the investment has been compounding over the time period.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The annual return (CAGR) over 5 years of World Top 4 Strategy is 10.7%, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark ACWI (6.6%) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) is 11.5%, which is greater, thus better than the value of 11.2% from the benchmark.

Volatility:

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • Compared with the benchmark ACWI (13.6%) in the period of the last 5 years, the historical 30 days volatility of 6.6% of World Top 4 Strategy is lower, thus better.
  • During the last 3 years, the 30 days standard deviation is 5.5%, which is lower, thus better than the value of 12% from the benchmark.

DownVol:

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • Compared with the benchmark ACWI (14.9%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside volatility of 7.2% of World Top 4 Strategy is lower, thus better.
  • During the last 3 years, the downside risk is 6.4%, which is smaller, thus better than the value of 13.7% 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:
  • The ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) over 5 years of World Top 4 Strategy is 1.25, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark ACWI (0.3) in the same period.
  • Compared with ACWI (0.72) in the period of the last 3 years, the Sharpe Ratio of 1.63 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:
  • The downside risk / excess return profile over 5 years of World Top 4 Strategy is 1.14, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark ACWI (0.27) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the downside risk / excess return profile is 1.4, which is higher, thus better than the value of 0.63 from the benchmark.

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:
  • The Ulcer Ratio over 5 years of World Top 4 Strategy is 2.54 , which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark ACWI (6.21 ) in the same period.
  • Looking at Ulcer Ratio in of 1.46 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to ACWI (5.17 ).

MaxDD:

'Maximum drawdown measures the loss in any losing period during a fund’s investment record. It is defined as the percent retrenchment from a fund’s peak value to the fund’s valley value. The drawdown is in effect from the time the fund’s retrenchment begins until a new fund high is reached. The maximum drawdown encompasses both the period from the fund’s peak to the fund’s valley (length), and the time from the fund’s valley to a new fund high (recovery). It measures the largest percentage drawdown that has occurred in any fund’s data record.'

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 -8.6 days of World Top 4 Strategy is greater, thus better.
  • Looking at maximum DrawDown in of -5.1 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:
  • The maximum time in days below previous high water mark over 5 years of World Top 4 Strategy is 206 days, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark ACWI (407 days) in the same period.
  • Looking at maximum days below previous high in of 101 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to ACWI (373 days).

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 below previous high over 5 years of World Top 4 Strategy is 42 days, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark ACWI (137 days) in the same period.
  • During the last 3 years, the average days below previous high is 28 days, which is lower, thus better than the value of 112 days from the benchmark.

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.