'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (68.6%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return, or performance of 25.3% of iShares MSCI EAFE ETF is lower, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (51%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return, or increase in value of 31.6% is smaller, 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the annual performance (CAGR) of 4.6% in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI EAFE ETF, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (11%)
- During the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) is 9.6%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 14.8% from the benchmark.

'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:- Looking at the volatility of 14.2% in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI EAFE ETF, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (13.5%)
- Looking at volatility in of 11.4% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (12.8%).

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (14.9%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside volatility of 15.8% of iShares MSCI EAFE ETF is higher, thus worse.
- Looking at downside risk in of 13% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (14.7%).

'The Sharpe ratio was developed by Nobel laureate William F. Sharpe, and is used to help investors understand the return of an investment compared to its risk. The ratio is the average return earned in excess of the risk-free rate per unit of volatility or total risk. Subtracting the risk-free rate from the mean return allows an investor to better isolate the profits associated with risk-taking activities. One intuition of this calculation is that a portfolio engaging in 'zero risk' investments, such as the purchase of U.S. Treasury bills (for which the expected return is the risk-free rate), has a Sharpe ratio of exactly zero. Generally, the greater the value of the Sharpe ratio, the more attractive the risk-adjusted return.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.63) in the period of the last 5 years, the Sharpe Ratio of 0.15 of iShares MSCI EAFE ETF is lower, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (0.96) in the period of the last 3 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of 0.62 is lower, thus worse.

'The Sortino ratio measures the risk-adjusted return of an investment asset, portfolio, or strategy. It is a modification of the Sharpe ratio but penalizes only those returns falling below a user-specified target or required rate of return, while the Sharpe ratio penalizes both upside and downside volatility equally. Though both ratios measure an investment's risk-adjusted return, they do so in significantly different ways that will frequently lead to differing conclusions as to the true nature of the investment's return-generating efficiency. The Sortino ratio is used as a way to compare the risk-adjusted performance of programs with differing risk and return profiles. In general, risk-adjusted returns seek to normalize the risk across programs and then see which has the higher return unit per risk.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 0.13 in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI EAFE ETF, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.57)
- During the last 3 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation is 0.55, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.83 from the benchmark.

'Ulcer Index is a method for measuring investment risk that addresses the real concerns of investors, unlike the widely used standard deviation of return. UI is a measure of the depth and duration of drawdowns in prices from earlier highs. Using Ulcer Index instead of standard deviation can lead to very different conclusions about investment risk and risk-adjusted return, especially when evaluating strategies that seek to avoid major declines in portfolio value (market timing, dynamic asset allocation, hedge funds, etc.). The Ulcer Index was originally developed in 1987. Since then, it has been widely recognized and adopted by the investment community. According to Nelson Freeburg, editor of Formula Research, Ulcer Index is “perhaps the most fully realized statistical portrait of risk there is.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the Ulcer Index of 9.6 in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI EAFE ETF, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (3.99 )
- Compared with SPY (4.1 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Ulcer Ratio of 8.25 is greater, thus worse.

'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 (-19.3 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum DrawDown of -23 days of iShares MSCI EAFE ETF is lower, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (-19.3 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum reduction from previous high of -22.1 days is smaller, thus worse.

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (187 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 495 days of iShares MSCI EAFE ETF is higher, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 456 days is higher, thus worse.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The average time in days below previous high water mark over 5 years of iShares MSCI EAFE ETF is 194 days, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (42 days) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the average days below previous high is 158 days, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 36 days from the benchmark.

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 EAFE ETF 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.