'The total return on a portfolio of investments takes into account not only the capital appreciation on the portfolio, but also the income received on the portfolio. The income typically consists of interest, dividends, and securities lending fees. This contrasts with the price return, which takes into account only the capital gain on an investment.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The total return, or performance over 5 years of iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund is 27.5%, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (74.4%) in the same period.
- Looking at total return, or performance in of 4.7% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (34.2%).

'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:- Looking at the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5% in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (11.8%)
- Looking at annual return (CAGR) in of 1.6% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (10.3%).

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (18.9%) in the period of the last 5 years, the 30 days standard deviation of 16.9% of iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund is lower, thus better.
- Compared with SPY (22.6%) in the period of the last 3 years, the 30 days standard deviation of 18.2% is lower, thus better.

'Downside risk is the financial risk associated with losses. That is, it is the risk of the actual return being below the expected return, or the uncertainty about the magnitude of that difference. 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 risk over 5 years of iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund is 12.4%, which is smaller, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (13.8%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (16.7%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside volatility of 13.7% is lower, thus better.

'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:- The risk / return profile (Sharpe) over 5 years of iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund is 0.15, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.49) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (0.35) in the period of the last 3 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of -0.05 is lower, thus worse.

'The Sortino ratio measures the risk-adjusted return of an investment asset, portfolio, or strategy. It is a modification of the Sharpe ratio but penalizes only those returns falling below a user-specified target or required rate of return, while the Sharpe ratio penalizes both upside and downside volatility equally. Though both ratios measure an investment's risk-adjusted return, they do so in significantly different ways that will frequently lead to differing conclusions as to the true nature of the investment's return-generating efficiency. The Sortino ratio is used as a way to compare the risk-adjusted performance of programs with differing risk and return profiles. In general, risk-adjusted returns seek to normalize the risk across programs and then see which has the higher return unit per risk.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The ratio of annual return and downside deviation over 5 years of iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund is 0.2, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.67) in the same period.
- Looking at downside risk / excess return profile in of -0.07 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.47).

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (5.82 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Ulcer Index of 9.4 of iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund is larger, thus worse.
- Looking at Ulcer Ratio in of 11 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to SPY (7.13 ).

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

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The maximum days under water over 5 years of iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund is 694 days, which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (139 days) in the same period.
- Looking at maximum days under water in of 694 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the average time in days below previous high water mark of 224 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 (37 days)
- Looking at average days below previous high in of 330 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, 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 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.