'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 performance over 5 years of iShares MSCI Australia Index Fund is 53.9%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (122.1%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the total return is 26.8%, which is smaller, thus worse than the value of 64.6% 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:- The annual return (CAGR) over 5 years of iShares MSCI Australia Index Fund is 9%, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (17.3%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (18.1%) in the period of the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) of 8.2% is smaller, thus worse.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The historical 30 days volatility over 5 years of iShares MSCI Australia Index Fund is 24.9%, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (18.7%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (22.5%) in the period of the last 3 years, the volatility of 30% is higher, thus worse.

'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 (13.6%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside volatility of 18.2% of iShares MSCI Australia Index Fund is greater, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (16.4%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside risk of 22% is larger, thus worse.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of 0.26 in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI Australia Index Fund, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.79)
- Looking at Sharpe Ratio in of 0.19 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (1.09) in the period of the last 5 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 0.36 of iShares MSCI Australia Index Fund is lower, thus worse.
- Looking at downside risk / excess return profile in of 0.26 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.95).

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the Downside risk index of 9.19 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 (5.58 )
- Compared with SPY (6.83 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Ulcer Index of 11 is greater, thus worse.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- 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). 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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum days below previous high of 350 days of iShares MSCI Australia Index Fund is greater, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum days below previous high of 216 days is larger, 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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (33 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average days below previous high of 84 days of iShares MSCI Australia Index Fund is larger, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the average days under water is 69 days, which is greater, 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.