- iM-Vanguard Systems use a combination of Vanguard bond- and stock-funds, and switch assets according to stock-market climate.
- Backtests show that models using index funds produce better returns when a dynamic asset allocation strategy is employed (System1) than buy-and-hold.
- Higher returns can be obtained from actively managed Vanguard funds with dynamic asset allocation (System2 and System3). System3 uses only two stock funds and one intermediate-term bond fund.
The dynamic asset allocation strategy requires that during up-market periods more money is allocated to stock funds than bond funds, and during down-market periods more money is allocated to bond funds than stock funds.
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Performance and risk measures are given for six iM(MAC-Vang) models with various asset allocations which use a combination of Vanguard bond- and stock-funds, and switch assets according to stock-market climate.
In continuation of our previous article “How Good are Vanguard’s LifeStrategy Funds? Much Better Returns From Vanguard Funds with iM’s (MAC-Vang)20/80” we show that exceptionally high returns can be obtained from Vanguard funds, when a dynamic asset allocation strategy is employed, and actively managed funds instead of index funds are used. Using a combination of bond-, stock-, and sector-funds in the model, and switching asset allocation according to stock-market climate, provided an annualized average return of over 15% for the backtest period Jan-2000 to Jul-2014.
“Studies have shown that your asset allocation has a bigger impact on your long-term returns than any specific fund you pick. So why not pick a Vanguard LifeStrategy Fund that has asset allocation built in?” This is the opening statement on a Vanguard web-page, which also lists other potential benefits of investing in such a fund. The historic performance of the LifeStrategy Moderate Growth Fund was analyzed from Jan-2000 onward, and it is very clear from the analysis that this was a high risk investment with low returns. An alternative investment model with Vanguard funds is proposed which would have produced much higher returns with less risk.