'Total return, when measuring performance, is the actual rate of return of an investment or a pool of investments over a given evaluation period. Total return includes interest, capital gains, dividends and distributions realized over a given period of time. Total return accounts for two categories of return: income including interest paid by fixed-income investments, distributions or dividends and capital appreciation, representing the change in the market price of an asset.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (121.6%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return, or increase in value of 57.7% of iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund is smaller, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (64.5%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return of 22.6% 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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (17.3%) in the period of the last 5 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.5% of iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund is lower, thus worse.
- Looking at annual performance (CAGR) in of 7% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (18.1%).

'Volatility is a statistical measure of the dispersion of returns for a given security or market index. Volatility can either be measured by using the standard deviation or variance between returns from that same security or market index. Commonly, the higher the volatility, the riskier the security. In the securities markets, volatility is often associated with big swings in either direction. For example, when the stock market rises and falls more than one percent over a sustained period of time, it is called a 'volatile' market.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (18.7%) in the period of the last 5 years, the volatility of 21.7% of iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund is larger, thus worse.
- Looking at 30 days standard deviation in of 24.6% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to SPY (22.5%).

'Risk measures typically quantify the downside risk, whereas the standard deviation (an example of a deviation risk measure) measures both the upside and downside risk. Specifically, downside risk in our definition is the semi-deviation, that is the standard deviation of all negative returns.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the downside volatility of 16.1% in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (13.5%)
- Compared with SPY (16.4%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside risk of 18.4% is greater, thus worse.

'The Sharpe ratio (also known as the Sharpe index, the Sharpe measure, and the reward-to-variability ratio) is a way to examine the performance of an investment by adjusting for its risk. The ratio measures the excess return (or risk premium) per unit of deviation in an investment asset or a trading strategy, typically referred to as risk, named after William F. Sharpe.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.79) in the period of the last 5 years, the Sharpe Ratio of 0.32 of iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund is lower, thus worse.
- Looking at Sharpe Ratio in of 0.18 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.69).

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The ratio of annual return and downside deviation over 5 years of iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund is 0.44, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (1.09) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (0.95) in the period of the last 3 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 0.25 is lower, thus worse.

'The Ulcer Index is a technical indicator that measures downside risk, in terms of both the depth and duration of price declines. The index increases in value as the price moves farther away from a recent high and falls as the price rises to new highs. The indicator is usually calculated over a 14-day period, with the Ulcer Index showing the percentage drawdown a trader can expect from the high over that period. The greater the value of the Ulcer Index, the longer it takes for a stock to get back to the former high.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (5.58 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Ulcer Ratio of 13 of iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund is greater, thus worse.
- Looking at Downside risk index in of 9.13 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to SPY (6.83 ).

'A maximum drawdown is the maximum loss from a peak to a trough of a portfolio, before a new peak is attained. Maximum Drawdown is an indicator of downside risk over a specified time period. It can be used both as a stand-alone measure or as an input into other metrics such as 'Return over Maximum Drawdown' and the Calmar Ratio. Maximum Drawdown is expressed in percentage terms.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum reduction from previous high of -38.2 days of iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund is lower, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum DrawDown is -33.9 days, which is lower, thus worse than the value of -33.7 days from the benchmark.

'The Drawdown Duration is the length of any peak to peak period, or the time between new equity highs. The Max Drawdown Duration is the worst (the maximum/longest) amount of time an investment has seen between peaks (equity highs). Many assume Max DD Duration is the length of time between new highs during which the Max DD (magnitude) occurred. But that isn’t always the case. The Max DD duration is the longest time between peaks, period. So it could be the time when the program also had its biggest peak to valley loss (and usually is, because the program needs a long time to recover from the largest loss), but it doesn’t have to be'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 712 days in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (139 days)
- Looking at maximum days under water in of 188 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to SPY (139 days).

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the average days below previous high of 230 days in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (33 days)
- Looking at average days below previous high in of 75 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to SPY (35 days).

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 Emerging 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.