'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, or performance of 22.5% in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (80%)
- Compared with SPY (31.8%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return, or performance of 1.5% is smaller, thus worse.

'Compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is a business and investing specific term for the geometric progression ratio that provides a constant rate of return over the time period. CAGR is not an accounting term, but it is often used to describe some element of the business, for example revenue, units delivered, registered users, etc. CAGR dampens the effect of volatility of periodic returns that can render arithmetic means irrelevant. It is particularly useful to compare growth rates from various data sets of common domain such as revenue growth of companies in the same industry.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The annual performance (CAGR) over 5 years of iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund is 4.2%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (12.5%) in the same period.
- Looking at annual return (CAGR) in of 0.5% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (9.7%).

'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 (21.3%) in the period of the last 5 years, the historical 30 days volatility of 18.2% of iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund is lower, thus better.
- During the last 3 years, the historical 30 days volatility is 16.7%, which is lower, thus better than the value of 17.6% 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 (15.3%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside deviation of 13.1% of iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund is lower, thus better.
- Looking at downside volatility in of 11.7% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to SPY (12.3%).

'The Sharpe ratio (also known as the Sharpe index, the Sharpe measure, and the reward-to-variability ratio) is a way to examine the performance of an investment by adjusting for its risk. The ratio measures the excess return (or risk premium) per unit of deviation in an investment asset or a trading strategy, typically referred to as risk, named after William F. Sharpe.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The risk / return profile (Sharpe) over 5 years of iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund is 0.09, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.47) in the same period.
- Looking at risk / return profile (Sharpe) in of -0.12 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.41).

'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:- The excess return divided by the downside deviation over 5 years of iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund is 0.13, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.66) in the same period.
- Looking at excess return divided by the downside deviation in of -0.17 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.58).

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The Ulcer Index over 5 years of iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund is 14 , which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (9.43 ) in the same period.
- Looking at Ulcer Index in of 17 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to SPY (10 ).

'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 Japan Index Fund is -33.1 days, which is higher, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum DrawDown is -33.1 days, which is smaller, thus worse than the value of -24.5 days from the benchmark.

'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 (480 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum days below previous high of 556 days of iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund is higher, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum days below previous high is 556 days, which is greater, thus worse than the value of 480 days from the benchmark.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (119 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average days below previous high of 164 days of iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund is greater, thus worse.
- Looking at average days under water in of 225 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to SPY (174 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 Japan 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.