'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:- Looking at the total return, or increase in value of 60.9% 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 (120.8%)
- Looking at total return in of 21.9% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (66.3%).

'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 10%, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (17.2%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the annual performance (CAGR) is 6.8%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 18.5% from the benchmark.

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (18.7%) in the period of the last 5 years, the historical 30 days volatility of 16.3% of iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund is lower, thus better.
- Compared with SPY (22.4%) in the period of the last 3 years, the 30 days standard deviation of 18.2% is smaller, 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the downside volatility of 12% in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (13.6%)
- Compared with SPY (16.3%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside risk of 13.4% is smaller, 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The Sharpe Ratio over 5 years of iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund is 0.46, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.78) in the same period.
- Looking at ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) in of 0.24 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.71).

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 0.63 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 (1.08)
- Looking at ratio of annual return and downside deviation in of 0.32 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.98).

'The ulcer index is a stock market risk measure or technical analysis indicator devised by Peter Martin in 1987, and published by him and Byron McCann in their 1989 book The Investors Guide to Fidelity Funds. It's designed as a measure of volatility, but only volatility in the downward direction, i.e. the amount of drawdown or retracement occurring over a period. Other volatility measures like standard deviation treat up and down movement equally, but a trader doesn't mind upward movement, it's the downside that causes stress and stomach ulcers that the index's name suggests.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The Downside risk index over 5 years of iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund is 9.01 , which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (5.59 ) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (6.83 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Downside risk index of 8.29 is higher, thus worse.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley of -30.7 days of iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund is larger, thus better.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum reduction from previous high is -28.3 days, which is higher, thus better than the value of -33.7 days from the benchmark.

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The maximum time in days below previous high water mark over 5 years of iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund is 701 days, which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (139 days) in the same period.
- Looking at maximum time in days below previous high water mark in of 392 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, 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 (33 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average days below previous high of 220 days of iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund is higher, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the average days below previous high is 142 days, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 35 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 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.