'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the total return, or performance of 81.1% in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI Australia Index Fund, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (120.7%)
- During the last 3 years, the total return, or increase in value is 18.1%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 44% 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (17.2%) in the period of the last 5 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.6% of iShares MSCI Australia Index Fund is smaller, thus worse.
- Looking at annual performance (CAGR) in of 5.7% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (12.9%).

'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 Australia Index Fund is 25.6%, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (18.8%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the volatility is 30%, which is greater, thus worse than the value of 22.8% from the benchmark.

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

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 18.6% of iShares MSCI Australia Index Fund is larger, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (16.7%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside volatility of 22% is higher, 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of 0.39 in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI Australia Index Fund, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.78)
- During the last 3 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) is 0.11, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.46 from the benchmark.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 0.54 in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI Australia Index Fund, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (1.08)
- Looking at ratio of annual return and downside deviation in of 0.15 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.62).

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the Ulcer Index of 9.22 in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI Australia Index Fund, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (5.59 )
- Compared with SPY (7.15 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Downside risk index of 12 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The maximum reduction from previous high 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.
- Looking at maximum reduction from previous high in of -45.5 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (-33.7 days).

'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 days below previous high 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)
- Looking at maximum time in days below previous high water mark in of 350 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to SPY (139 days).

'The Average 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. 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 85 days in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI Australia Index Fund, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (33 days)
- Looking at average time in days below previous high water mark in of 122 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to SPY (45 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 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.