'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:- Looking at the total return, or increase in value of 31% 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 (68.7%)
- Looking at total return in of 21.4% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (47.9%).

'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.'

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 annual performance (CAGR) of 5.6% of iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund is lower, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) is 6.7%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 14% 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (13.3%) in the period of the last 5 years, the volatility of 15.5% of iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund is higher, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the historical 30 days volatility is 12.9%, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 12.5% 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 volatility of 17% 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 (14.6%)
- Compared with SPY (14.2%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside volatility of 14.6% is higher, thus worse.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The risk / return profile (Sharpe) over 5 years of iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund is 0.2, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.64) in the same period.
- Looking at ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) in of 0.32 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.91).

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.58) in the period of the last 5 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 0.18 of iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund is lower, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (0.81) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside risk / excess return profile of 0.29 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 Index of 8.28 of iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund is larger, thus better.
- Compared with SPY (4.01 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Ulcer Ratio of 7.94 is larger, thus better.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the maximum DrawDown of -22.9 days 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 (-19.3 days)
- Compared with SPY (-19.3 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum reduction from previous high of -22.9 days is lower, thus worse.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the maximum days below previous high of 457 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 (187 days)
- Compared with SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum days below previous high of 330 days is greater, thus worse.

'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:- Looking at the average days under water of 150 days in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (41 days)
- Compared with SPY (36 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark of 89 days is higher, thus worse.

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 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.