Monte Carlo Simulation

This Monte Carlo simulation tool provides a means to test long term expected portfolio growth and portfolio survival based on withdrawals, e.g., testing whether the portfolio can sustain the planned withdrawals required for retirement or by an endowment fund. The following simulation models are supported for portfolio returns:

You can choose from several different withdrawal models including:

To simulate multiple stages such as career and retirement with detailed cashflow goals use the Financial Goals planning tool.

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Monte Carlo Simulation Results Save

Monte Carlo simulation results for 10000 portfolios with $1.00 initial portfolio balance using available historical returns data from Jan 2006 to Dec 2021 with annual sampling. The historical pre-tax return for the selected portfolio for this period was 9.28% mean return (7.27% CAGR) with 17.26% standard deviation of annual returns. The simulation results are based on generated nominal returns and specified contributions ($200 per month not adjusted for inflation). The simulated inflation model used historical inflation with 2.21% mean and 1.33% standard deviation based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) data from Jan 2006 to Dec 2021. The generated inflation samples were correlated with simulated asset returns based on historical correlations. The available historical data for the simulation inputs was constrained by Vanguard FTSE Europe ETF (VGK) [Apr 2005 - Jul 2022].

Portfolio Allocation

Ticker Name Allocation
IVV iShares Core S&P 500 ETF 30.00%
EEM iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF 30.00%
VGK Vanguard FTSE Europe ETF 30.00%
VPL Vanguard FTSE Pacific ETF 10.00%
Save portfolio »

Summary Statistics

Summary Statistics
10th Percentile25th Percentile50th Percentile75th Percentile90th Percentile
Time Weighted Rate of Return (nominal)1.01%4.30%7.65%10.83%13.52%
Time Weighted Rate of Return (real)-0.98%2.15%5.32%8.37%10.96%
Portfolio End Balance (nominal)$51,039$75,202$114,148$169,649$238,555
Portfolio End Balance (real)$33,815$49,283$73,769$108,219$150,338
Maximum Drawdown-55.59%-48.73%-43.04%-29.25%-22.60%
Maximum Drawdown Excluding Cashflows-71.02%-58.94%-50.00%-37.99%-27.64%
Safe Withdrawal Rate3.90%5.65%8.13%10.86%13.54%
Perpetual Withdrawal Rate0.00%2.08%5.03%7.71%9.87%
   
Notes on results:
  • IMPORTANT: The projections or other information generated by Portfolio Visualizer regarding the likelihood of various investment outcomes are hypothetical in nature, do not reflect actual investment results and are not guarantees of future results. Results may vary with each use and over time.
  • The results do not constitute investment advice or recommendation, are provided solely for informational purposes, and are not an offer to buy or sell any securities. All use is subject to terms of service.
  • Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.
  • Asset allocation and diversification strategies do not guarantee a profit or protect against a loss.
  • Hypothetical returns do not reflect trading costs, transaction fees, commissions, or actual taxes due on investment returns.
  • The results are based on information from a variety of sources we consider reliable, but we do not represent that the information is accurate or complete.
  • Refer to the related documentation sections for more details on terms and definitions, methodology, and data sources.
  • A Monte Carlo simulation is a mathematical technique used to provide a range of possible outcomes and to approximate the probability of certain outcomes by running multiple trial runs, called simulations, using random variables. The simulation results are displayed by percentile, a 5th percentile result means that 5% of the simulated portfolios did worse and 95% of simulated portfolios did better for the given return or risk metric. At the median point (50th percentile), half of the simulated portfolios did better and half did worse.
  • The results are based on the total return of assets and assume that all received dividends and distributions are reinvested.
  • Compound annualized growth rate (CAGR) is the annualized geometric mean return of the portfolio. It is calculated from the portfolio start and end balance and is thus impacted by any cashflows.
  • The time-weighted rate of return (TWRR) is a measure of the compound rate of growth in a portfolio. This is calculated from the holding period returns (e.g. monthly returns), and TWRR will thus not be impacted by cashflows. If there are no external cashflows, TWRR will equal CAGR.
  • The money-weighted rate of return (MWRR) is the internal rate of return (IRR) taking into account cashflows. This is the discount rate at which the present value of cash inflows equals the present value of cash outflows.
  • Real return and balance are inflation adjusted values and show the growth of the purchasing power of the portfolio. Nominal return and balance show the portfolio gains without accounting for inflation.
  • Standard deviation (Stdev) is used to measure the dispersion of returns around the mean and is often used as a measure of risk. A higher standard deviation implies greater the dispersion of data points around the mean.
  • Correlation measures to what degree the returns of the two assets move in relation to each other. Correlation coefficient is a numerical value between -1 and +1. If one variable goes up by a certain amount, the correlation coefficient indicates which way the other variable moves and by how much. Asset correlations are calculated based on monthly returns.
  • A drawdown refers to the decline in value of a single investment or an investment portfolio from a relative peak value to a relative trough. A maximum drawdown (Max Drawdown) is the maximum observed loss from a peak to a trough of a portfolio before a new peak is attained. Drawdown statistics are calculated from simulated monthly returns.
  • All risk measures for the portfolio and portfolio assets are calculated based on monthly returns.
  • The results are based on simulating 10000 portfolio return paths.
  • The probability of success is based on the number of simulations the portfolio survives with a positive end balance.
  • Safe withdrawal rate is the percentage of the original portfolio balance that can be withdrawn at the end of each year with inflation adjustment without the portfolio running out of money.
  • Perpetual withdrawal rate is the percentage of portfolio balance that can be withdrawn at the end of each year while retaining the inflation adjusted portfolio balance.
  • The results assume annual rebalancing of portfolio assets at the end of each year.
  • Contributions and withdrawals are done at the end of each specified time period.

Simulated Assets - Correlations and Returns

Simulated Assets - Correlations and Returns
NameTickerIVVEEMVGKVPL^CPIUCAGRExpected Annual ReturnAnnualized Volatility
iShares Core S&P 500 ETFIVV1.000.770.880.820.1110.93%12.17%14.87%
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETFEEM0.771.000.850.860.105.25%7.79%21.80%
Vanguard FTSE Europe ETFVGK0.880.851.000.870.125.50%7.49%19.26%
Vanguard FTSE Pacific ETFVPL0.820.860.871.000.054.37%5.73%16.03%
Inflation^CPIU0.110.100.120.051.002.20%2.21%1.33%
Asset correlations and return vs. risk statistics are based on monthly returns from Jan 2006 to Dec 2021

Expected Annual Return

Expected Annual Return
Percentile1 Year3 Years5 Years10 Years15 Years20 Years
10th Percentile-11.85%-8.74%-5.11%-1.46%0.08%1.01%
25th Percentile0.28%1.16%1.76%3.23%3.88%4.30%
50th Percentile14.13%10.00%9.06%8.10%7.74%7.65%
75th Percentile24.11%16.79%14.89%12.48%11.40%10.83%
90th Percentile28.69%21.74%19.10%16.14%14.44%13.52%

Annual Return Probabilities

Annual Return Probabilities
Return1 Year3 Years5 Years10 Years15 Years20 Years
>= 0.00%75.41%77.10%79.46%86.03%90.25%92.88%
>= 2.50%69.49%72.84%72.78%77.71%81.64%84.55%
>= 5.00%69.49%67.51%64.98%66.98%68.44%70.22%
>= 7.50%63.40%59.44%56.28%53.23%51.42%51.30%
>= 10.00%63.40%50.08%46.08%38.78%33.95%31.06%
>= 12.50%63.40%40.67%35.09%24.92%18.66%15.06%

Loss Probabilities

Loss Probabilities
LossLoss Probability Excluding CashflowsLoss Probability Including Cashflows
Within Time PeriodEnd of Time PeriodWithin Time PeriodEnd of Time Period
>= 2.50%76.30%6.87%0.00%0.00%
>= 5.00%74.25%6.50%0.00%0.00%
>= 7.50%68.47%6.15%0.00%0.00%
>= 10.00%64.90%5.80%0.00%0.00%
>= 12.50%57.34%5.57%0.00%0.00%
>= 15.00%54.77%5.21%0.00%0.00%
>= 17.50%50.23%5.05%0.00%0.00%
>= 20.00%42.43%4.87%0.00%0.00%
>= 22.50%40.48%4.64%0.00%0.00%
>= 25.00%32.95%4.37%0.00%0.00%
>= 27.50%30.38%4.10%0.00%0.00%
>= 30.00%28.56%3.91%0.00%0.00%
>= 32.50%26.06%3.65%0.00%0.00%
>= 35.00%24.38%3.43%0.00%0.00%
>= 37.50%22.34%3.20%0.00%0.00%
>= 40.00%20.64%3.03%0.00%0.00%
Loss is measured against the original portfolio balance.