'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:- The total return, or increase in value over 5 years of iShares MSCI Australia Index Fund is 68.7%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (121.2%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the total return is 32%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 67.5% from the benchmark.

'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 (17.2%) in the period of the last 5 years, the annual performance (CAGR) of 11% of iShares MSCI Australia Index Fund is smaller, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the annual performance (CAGR) is 9.7%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 18.7% from the benchmark.

'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:- Looking at the 30 days standard deviation of 25.2% in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI Australia Index Fund, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (18.7%)
- During the last 3 years, the volatility is 29.9%, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 22.5% from the benchmark.

'Downside risk is the financial risk associated with losses. That is, it is the risk of the actual return being below the expected return, or the uncertainty about the magnitude of that difference. 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (13.6%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside volatility of 18.3% of iShares MSCI Australia Index Fund is greater, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the downside deviation is 21.9%, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 16.3% from the benchmark.

'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:- The ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) over 5 years of iShares MSCI Australia Index Fund is 0.34, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.79) in the same period.
- Looking at ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) in of 0.24 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.72).

'The Sortino ratio improves upon the Sharpe ratio by isolating downside volatility from total volatility by dividing excess return by the downside deviation. The Sortino ratio is a variation of the Sharpe ratio that differentiates harmful volatility from total overall volatility by using the asset's standard deviation of negative asset returns, called downside deviation. The Sortino ratio takes the asset's return and subtracts the risk-free rate, and then divides that amount by the asset's downside deviation. The ratio was named after Frank A. Sortino.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (1.08) in the period of the last 5 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 0.47 of iShares MSCI Australia Index Fund is lower, thus worse.
- Looking at ratio of annual return and downside deviation in of 0.33 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (1).

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The Ulcer Ratio over 5 years of iShares MSCI Australia Index Fund is 9.21 , which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (5.59 ) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (6.83 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Downside risk index of 11 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:- The maximum drop from peak to valley over 5 years of iShares MSCI Australia Index Fund is -45.5 days, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum DrawDown is -45.5 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) in days.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 350 days in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI Australia Index Fund, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (139 days)
- Compared with SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum days under water of 229 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 Australia Index Fund is 85 days, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (33 days) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the average days under water is 77 days, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 35 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 Australia 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.