'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 performance of 38.8% in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI Belgium ETF, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (74.4%)
- Compared with SPY (47.2%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return, or performance of 11.8% is lower, thus worse.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The annual performance (CAGR) over 5 years of iShares MSCI Belgium ETF is 6.8%, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (11.8%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (13.8%) in the period of the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) of 3.8% is lower, thus worse.

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The 30 days standard deviation over 5 years of iShares MSCI Belgium ETF is 15%, which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (13.6%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (12.9%) in the period of the last 3 years, the historical 30 days volatility of 13.2% is larger, thus worse.

'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:- Looking at the downside volatility of 16.4% in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI Belgium ETF, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (14.9%)
- Looking at downside volatility in of 14% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to SPY (14.6%).

'The Sharpe ratio was developed by Nobel laureate William F. Sharpe, and is used to help investors understand the return of an investment compared to its risk. The ratio is the average return earned in excess of the risk-free rate per unit of volatility or total risk. Subtracting the risk-free rate from the mean return allows an investor to better isolate the profits associated with risk-taking activities. One intuition of this calculation is that a portfolio engaging in 'zero risk' investments, such as the purchase of U.S. Treasury bills (for which the expected return is the risk-free rate), has a Sharpe ratio of exactly zero. Generally, the greater the value of the Sharpe ratio, the more attractive the risk-adjusted return.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of 0.29 in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI Belgium ETF, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.68)
- Looking at risk / return profile (Sharpe) in of 0.1 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.88).

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The ratio of annual return and downside deviation over 5 years of iShares MSCI Belgium ETF is 0.26, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.62) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (0.77) in the period of the last 3 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 0.09 is smaller, thus worse.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The Ulcer Ratio over 5 years of iShares MSCI Belgium ETF is 10 , which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (3.99 ) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the Ulcer Ratio is 12 , which is greater, thus worse than the value of 4.1 from the benchmark.

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (-19.3 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum reduction from previous high of -28.7 days of iShares MSCI Belgium ETF is smaller, thus worse.
- Looking at maximum reduction from previous high in of -28.7 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (-19.3 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). Many assume Max DD Duration is the length of time between new highs during which the Max DD (magnitude) occurred. But that isn’t always the case. The Max DD duration is the longest time between peaks, period. So it could be the time when the program also had its biggest peak to valley loss (and usually is, because the program needs a long time to recover from the largest loss), but it doesn’t have to be'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (187 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum days below previous high of 431 days of iShares MSCI Belgium ETF is higher, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum days under water of 431 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the average days below previous high of 101 days in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI Belgium ETF, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (41 days)
- During the last 3 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark is 142 days, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 36 days from the benchmark.

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 Belgium ETF 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.