Commodities Showed Their Hedge Amid Equity Weakness (FRN, VWO, VTI, GLD, SPY, EFA, VEU, EEM, IYR, VNQ, BND, AGG, DBC)

Last week, all major global stock markets registered loss: Frontier stocks (NYSE:FRN) lost most — -2.6%, followed by Emerging market stocks (NYSE:VWO) — -1.89%, and U.S. stock markets (NYSE:VTI) — -1.73%. REITs also showed their weakness. Commodities, however, showed their hedging nature, gaining 3.42%. Gold (NYSE:GLD) gained 1.46%. Other fixed income ETFs all had positive gains too.  For more detailed performence update, please refer to here.

The following table shows the trend scores for all major asset classes we monitor. 

Assets Class Symbols 02/25
Commodities (DBC) 16.74% 13.62% ^
US Stocks (VTI) 13.05% 14.82% v
US Equity REITs (VNQ) 12.41% 14.34% v
International REITs (RWX) 11.37% 11.76% v
Gold (GLD) 9.84% 8.93% ^
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% ^
Treasury Bills (SHV) 0.03% 0.01% ^
Total US Bonds (BND) -0.04% -0.49% ^
Intermediate Treasuries (IEF) -0.52% -1.33% ^
Municipal Bonds (MUB) -1.08% -1.17% ^
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 (NYSE:VTI), (NYSE:SPY), Foreign equity (NYSE:VEU), (NYSE:EFA), Emerging market equity (NYSE:VWO), (NYSE:EEM), U.S. REITs (NYSE:IYR), (NYSE:VNQ) and fixed income (NYSE:BND), (NYSE:AGG). The other has six core assets that includes an additional commodity index ETF (NYSE: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%

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.

Written By The Staff Of

LTI Systems, Inc. is the operator of and The founders of LTI Systems have extensive technology and business background in computer and semiconductor industries. They have been using the strategies provided by MyPlanIQ for their own personal retirement and taxable investments. The mission of LTI Systems is to make wealth management investment strategies that are used to be only accessible to institutions and high net worth individuals available to private investors with a fraction of flat cost and ease of use. The founders of LTI Systems, investors themselves, take pride in creating such a system and service for investors by taking the perspective from the investor side. They are using the system and the strategies for their own investment and align their interests with their customers.  

MyPlanIQ’s blog provides periodical articles to discuss issues related to retirement plans (401(k), 403(b) and IRAs), deferred compensation plans (457), college savings plans (529), taxable brokerage investment accounts, variable annuities and universal life insurance plans. It also covers investment strategies, specifically strategic and tactical asset allocation and investment products such as ETFs and mutual funds. In addition, it syndicates daily articles that are related to retirement planning, personal finance, investment strategies, annuities, insurance, college savings and market/economic outlooks. It provides a comment and discussion community for readers.

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