Last week, all major global stock markets registered loss: Frontier stocks (NYSEARCA:FRN) lost most -- -2.6%, followed by Emerging market stocks (NYSEARCA:VWO) -- -1.89%, and U.S. stock markets (NYSEARCA:VTI) -- -1.73%. REITs also showed their weakness. Commodities, however, showed their hedging nature, gaining 3.42%. Gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) gained 1.46%. Other fixed income ETFs all had positive gains too. For a more detailed performance update, please refer to here.
The following table shows the trend scores for all major asset classes we monitor.
|Assets Class||Symbols||02/25 |
|US Equity REITs||VNQ||12.41%||14.34%||v|
|International Developed Stks||EFA||9.77%||10.71%||v|
|Emerging Market Stks||VWO||7.08%||7.87%||v|
|US High Yield Bonds||JNK||5.55%||5.5%||^|
|International Treasury Bonds||BWX||2.85%||2.86%||v|
|Frontier Market Stks||FRN||1.08%||2.41%||v|
|US Credit Bonds||CFT||0.76%||0.38%||^|
|Emerging Mkt Bonds||PCY||0.07%||-0.07%||^|
|Total US Bonds||BND||-0.04%||-0.49%||^|
|Mortgage Back Bonds||MBB||-1.21%||-1.51%||^|
The trend score is defined as the average of 1,4,13,26 and 52 week total returns (including dividend reinvested).
We pointed out the role of commodities in asset allocation of a portfolio several months ago. The following table shows the performance of two portfolios using a tactical asset allocation strategy: one has five core asset classes, eash of which is represetned by a single ETF, as its candidate funds: U.S. equity (VTI, SPY), Foreign equity (VEU, EFA), Emerging market equity (VWO, EEM), U.S. REITs (IYR, VNQ) and fixed income (BND, AGG). The other has six core assets that includes an additional commodity index ETF (NYSEARCA:DBC) as its sixth asset.
The following table compares the performance of two moderate portfolios for these two plans.
|Portfolio Name||1Yr AR||1Yr Sharpe||3Yr AR||3Yr Sharpe||5Yr AR||5Yr Sharpe|
|Six Core Asset ETFs Tactical Asset Allocation Moderate||16%||120%||10%||82%||15%||100%|
|Five Core Asset Index ETF Funds Tactical Asset Allocation Moderate||13%||97%||10%||85%||13%||85%|
Adding commodity (DBC) as an extra asset enables portfolio Six Core Asset ETFs Tactical Asset Allocation Moderate to gain commodity exposure in various periods. For example, the portfolio invested DBC in 10/2007 and it lasted till 9/30/2008, allowing it to capture some of the commodity upside. Same since the beginning of this year. It does make 2% extra annualized return in such a portfolio, compared with Five Core Asset Index ETF Funds Tactical Asset Allocation Moderate that has no commodity exposure at all.
It is clear that adding commodity as a candidate asset for an asset allocation strategy does increase the return and Sharpe ratio (thus, risk adjusted return). However, to achieve this, one should follow a systematic asset allocation strategy like the one mentioned above and handle commodity and other asset classse exposures carefully.
MyPlanIQ does not have any business relationship with the company or companies mentioned in this article. It does not set up their retirement plans. The performance data of portfolios mentioned above are obtained through historical simulation and are hypothetical.