'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:- Looking at the total return of -0.4% in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI Germany Index Fund, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (68.7%)
- Compared with SPY (47.9%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return of 18.5% 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (11%) in the period of the last 5 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of -0.1% of iShares MSCI Germany Index Fund is smaller, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the annual performance (CAGR) is 5.8%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 14% 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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (13.3%) in the period of the last 5 years, the volatility of 17.6% of iShares MSCI Germany Index Fund is greater, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (12.5%) in the period of the last 3 years, the 30 days standard deviation of 16.4% is higher, thus worse.

'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:- The downside risk over 5 years of iShares MSCI Germany Index Fund is 18.9%, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (14.6%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the downside volatility is 18.9%, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 14.2% from the benchmark.

'The Sharpe ratio is the measure of risk-adjusted return of a financial portfolio. Sharpe ratio is a measure of excess portfolio return over the risk-free rate relative to its standard deviation. Normally, the 90-day Treasury bill rate is taken as the proxy for risk-free rate. A portfolio with a higher Sharpe ratio is considered superior relative to its peers. The measure was named after William F Sharpe, a Nobel laureate and professor of finance, emeritus at Stanford University.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.64) in the period of the last 5 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of -0.15 of iShares MSCI Germany Index Fund is lower, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the Sharpe Ratio is 0.2, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.91 from the benchmark.

'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 (0.58) in the period of the last 5 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of -0.14 of iShares MSCI Germany Index Fund is smaller, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (0.81) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside risk / excess return profile of 0.18 is lower, thus worse.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (3.96 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Ulcer Ratio of 14 of iShares MSCI Germany Index Fund is larger, thus better.
- Looking at Ulcer Ratio in of 12 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to SPY (4.01 ).

'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 Germany Index Fund is -29.8 days, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (-19.3 days) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (-19.3 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley of -29.8 days is lower, 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 732 days of iShares MSCI Germany Index Fund is greater, thus worse.
- Looking at maximum days under water in of 333 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (41 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average days under water of 267 days of iShares MSCI Germany Index Fund is higher, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark is 90 days, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 36 days from the benchmark.

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.
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- "Year" returns in the table above are not equal to the sum of monthly returns due to compounding.
- Performance results of iShares MSCI Germany 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.