'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (77.4%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return, or increase in value of 18% of iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund is lower, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the total return, or performance is 6.9%, which is smaller, thus worse than the value of 43.3% 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:- The compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over 5 years of iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund is 3.4%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (12.1%) in the same period.
- Looking at annual performance (CAGR) in of 2.2% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (12.7%).

'Volatility is a rate at which the price of a security increases or decreases for a given set of returns. Volatility is measured by calculating the standard deviation of the annualized returns over a given period of time. It shows the range to which the price of a security may increase or decrease. Volatility measures the risk of a security. It is used in option pricing formula to gauge the fluctuations in the returns of the underlying assets. Volatility indicates the pricing behavior of the security and helps estimate the fluctuations that may happen in a short period of time.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The volatility over 5 years of iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund is 17.7%, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (19%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the volatility is 18%, which is smaller, thus better than the value of 22% from the benchmark.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The downside deviation over 5 years of iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund is 13.1%, which is smaller, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (13.9%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the downside deviation is 13.6%, which is lower, thus better than the value of 16.2% from the benchmark.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The Sharpe Ratio over 5 years of iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund is 0.05, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.51) in the same period.
- Looking at risk / return profile (Sharpe) in of -0.01 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.46).

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.7) in the period of the last 5 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 0.07 of iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund is lower, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation is -0.02, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.63 from the benchmark.

'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:- The Ulcer Index over 5 years of iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund is 10 , which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (5.87 ) in the same period.
- Looking at Ulcer Ratio in of 11 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to SPY (7.01 ).

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum reduction from previous high of -30.7 days of iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund is larger, thus better.
- Looking at maximum DrawDown in of -30.7 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus better 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) in days.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the maximum days under water of 637 days in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (139 days)
- Looking at maximum days below previous high in of 637 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 (37 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average days under water of 229 days of iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund is larger, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (45 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average days below previous high of 285 days is higher, thus worse.

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.