'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (61.3%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return of -28.2% of iShares MSCI Germany Index Fund is lower, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the total return, or performance is -18.7%, which is smaller, thus worse than the value of 31.6% from the benchmark.

'The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is a useful measure of growth over multiple time periods. It can be thought of as the growth rate that gets you from the initial investment value to the ending investment value if you assume that the investment has been compounding over the time period.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (10%) in the period of the last 5 years, the annual performance (CAGR) of -6.4% of iShares MSCI Germany Index Fund is smaller, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) is -6.7%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 9.6% 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 volatility of 23.7% in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI Germany Index Fund, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (20.8%)
- During the last 3 years, the 30 days standard deviation is 27.6%, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 24% from the benchmark.

'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:- Looking at the downside deviation of 17.9% in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI Germany Index Fund, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (15.3%)
- During the last 3 years, the downside risk is 20.8%, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 17.6% 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.36) in the period of the last 5 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of -0.38 of iShares MSCI Germany Index Fund is lower, thus worse.
- Looking at ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) in of -0.33 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.3).

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the excess return divided by the downside deviation of -0.5 in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI Germany Index Fund, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.49)
- Compared with SPY (0.4) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside risk / excess return profile of -0.44 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The Ulcer Index over 5 years of iShares MSCI Germany Index Fund is 18 , which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (7.61 ) in the same period.
- Looking at Ulcer Index in of 16 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to SPY (8.93 ).

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley of -46.8 days of iShares MSCI Germany Index Fund is lower, thus worse.
- Looking at maximum reduction from previous high in of -43.4 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 time in days below previous high water mark of 787 days in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI Germany Index Fund, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (185 days)
- During the last 3 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark is 331 days, which is greater, thus worse than the value of 185 days from the benchmark.

'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 (46 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average days below previous high of 299 days of iShares MSCI Germany Index Fund is larger, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark is 96 days, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 44 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 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.