In the video “Ray Dalio breaks down his ‘Holy Grail’”, he sets out to break down what were the marginal benefits of diversification within a portfolio. Ultimately, using the graph below, Ray Dalio broke it down into 3 pieces: Risk, which he called the standard deviation, the number of assets or the sample size, and the correlation of the bets.
What he found in doing so was the higher the correlation between assets in a portfolio, the lower the ability to reduce risk by increasing the number of investments. Essentially what this means is if you take a group of investments that are 60% correlated, there is no real reduction in risk after adding more than 4 investments to the portfolio. It’s only in diversifying your portfolio that allows you to cut your risk.
Dalio says for an ideal return on investment, investors should find 15-20 good, uncorrelated return streams, as that will allow for the most return on investment while cutting risk. In taking 15-20 good investments, with a 0% correlation, using Dalio’s chart, the return to risk ratio is 1.25, meaning the probability of losing money in a year is 11%. With any one investment with a 10% risk, the probability of losing money in any given year is 40%, almost 4 times as much.
What this all boils down to is the power of diversification in balancing risk. There is no great 1 best investment, but you are able to improve your return to risk by 5 times as much when diversifying across 15-20 good investments.
Since Bitcoin was created, it has shown to be an asset that is uncorrelated to the stock market. This provides investors with a tool for diversifying their portfolio, but many investors prefer to have more than one tool. Since Bitcoin thousands of altcoins have come onto the scene. Combining Bitcoin, all altcoins and all future projects has the resulting effect of an entirely new asset class: Digital Assets.
That begs the question: How does this relate to digital assets? You need only look at Bitcoin and the subsequent other similar coins found in the market to see the issue in diversifying your digital assets. Correlations within the crypto space are for the most part high, but there are a few different coins that break the mold of digital assets, which allows investors to diversify and improve their return to risk. One such token is Ampleforth, whose movement pattern in reality should have a much lower correlation to Bitcoin. For those who subscribe to modern portfolio theory and have a mindset like Ray Dalio, seeking out digital assets that don’t correlate strongly with Bitcoin may allow investors to improve their return to risk, while digital assets on the whole may help reduce correlation to other traditional holdings.
To learn more about modern portfolio theory and how it can apply to digital assets, check out our piece on the subject which you can find here.