'Total return is the amount of value an investor earns from a security over a specific period, typically one year, when all distributions are reinvested. Total return is expressed as a percentage of the amount invested. For example, a total return of 20% means the security increased by 20% of its original value due to a price increase, distribution of dividends (if a stock), coupons (if a bond) or capital gains (if a fund). Total return is a strong measure of an investment’s overall performance.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The total return, or increase in value over 5 years of iShares MSCI ACWI Index Fund is 48.9%, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (78.4%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (44.1%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return, or performance of 30.3% is lower, thus worse.

'The compound annual growth rate isn't a true return rate, but rather a representational figure. It is essentially a number that describes the rate at which an investment would have grown if it had grown the same rate every year and the profits were reinvested at the end of each year. In reality, this sort of performance is unlikely. However, CAGR can be used to smooth returns so that they may be more easily understood when compared to alternative investments.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The annual return (CAGR) over 5 years of iShares MSCI ACWI Index Fund is 8.3%, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (12.3%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (12.9%) in the period of the last 3 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.2% is lower, thus worse.

'In finance, volatility (symbol σ) is the degree of variation of a trading price series over time as measured by the standard deviation of logarithmic returns. Historic volatility measures a time series of past market prices. Implied volatility looks forward in time, being derived from the market price of a market-traded derivative (in particular, an option). Commonly, the higher the volatility, the riskier the security.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The 30 days standard deviation over 5 years of iShares MSCI ACWI Index Fund is 18.9%, which is smaller, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (19.9%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the historical 30 days volatility is 22.1%, which is lower, thus better than the value of 23.1% from the benchmark.

'The downside volatility is similar to the volatility, or standard deviation, but only takes losing/negative periods into account.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (14.6%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside deviation of 14.1% of iShares MSCI ACWI Index Fund is lower, thus better.
- During the last 3 years, the downside volatility is 16.4%, which is lower, thus better than the value of 16.9% from the benchmark.

'The Sharpe ratio is the measure of risk-adjusted return of a financial portfolio. Sharpe ratio is a measure of excess portfolio return over the risk-free rate relative to its standard deviation. Normally, the 90-day Treasury bill rate is taken as the proxy for risk-free rate. A portfolio with a higher Sharpe ratio is considered superior relative to its peers. The measure was named after William F Sharpe, a Nobel laureate and professor of finance, emeritus at Stanford University.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The risk / return profile (Sharpe) over 5 years of iShares MSCI ACWI Index Fund is 0.31, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.49) in the same period.
- Looking at ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) in of 0.3 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.45).

'The Sortino ratio, a variation of the Sharpe ratio only factors in the downside, or negative volatility, rather than the total volatility used in calculating the Sharpe ratio. The theory behind the Sortino variation is that upside volatility is a plus for the investment, and it, therefore, should not be included in the risk calculation. Therefore, the Sortino ratio takes upside volatility out of the equation and uses only the downside standard deviation in its calculation instead of the total standard deviation that is used in calculating the Sharpe ratio.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.67) in the period of the last 5 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 0.41 of iShares MSCI ACWI Index Fund is smaller, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (0.62) in the period of the last 3 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 0.41 is lower, thus worse.

'The ulcer index is a stock market risk measure or technical analysis indicator devised by Peter Martin in 1987, and published by him and Byron McCann in their 1989 book The Investors Guide to Fidelity Funds. It's designed as a measure of volatility, but only volatility in the downward direction, i.e. the amount of drawdown or retracement occurring over a period. Other volatility measures like standard deviation treat up and down movement equally, but a trader doesn't mind upward movement, it's the downside that causes stress and stomach ulcers that the index's name suggests.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the Ulcer Index of 6.8 in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI ACWI Index Fund, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (6.16 )
- Looking at Ulcer Index in of 7.17 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to SPY (6.87 ).

'Maximum drawdown is defined as the peak-to-trough decline of an investment during a specific period. It is usually quoted as a percentage of the peak value. The maximum drawdown can be calculated based on absolute returns, in order to identify strategies that suffer less during market downturns, such as low-volatility strategies. However, the maximum drawdown can also be calculated based on returns relative to a benchmark index, for identifying strategies that show steady outperformance over time.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The maximum DrawDown over 5 years of iShares MSCI ACWI Index Fund is -33.5 days, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum reduction from previous high is -33.5 days, which is greater, thus better than the value of -33.7 days from the benchmark.

'The Maximum Drawdown Duration is an extension of the Maximum Drawdown. However, this metric does not explain the drawdown in dollars or percentages, rather in days, weeks, or months. It is the length of time the account was in the Max Drawdown. A Max Drawdown measures a retrenchment from when an equity curve reaches a new high. It’s the maximum an account lost during that retrenchment. This method is applied because a valley can’t be measured until a new high occurs. Once the new high is reached, the percentage change from the old high to the bottom of the largest trough is recorded.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The maximum time in days below previous high water mark over 5 years of iShares MSCI ACWI Index Fund is 373 days, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (139 days) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum days under water is 133 days, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 119 days from the benchmark.

'The Drawdown Duration is the length of any peak to peak period, or the time between new equity highs. The Avg Drawdown Duration is the average amount of time an investment has seen between peaks (equity highs), or in other terms the average of time under water of all drawdowns. So in contrast to the Maximum duration it does not measure only one drawdown event but calculates the average of all.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the average days under water of 83 days in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI ACWI Index Fund, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (35 days)
- Compared with SPY (27 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark of 30 days is higher, thus worse.

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.
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- Note that yearly returns do not equal the sum of monthly returns due to compounding.
- Performance results of iShares MSCI ACWI Index Fund are hypothetical, do not account for slippage, fees or taxes, and are based on backtesting, which has many inherent limitations, some of which are described in our Terms of Use.