'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The total return, or increase in value over 5 years of iShares MSCI Malaysia Index Fund is 11.9%, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (88%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (39.5%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return, or increase in value of -8.9% is lower, thus worse.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (13.5%) in the period of the last 5 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.3% of iShares MSCI Malaysia Index Fund is lower, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) is -3.1%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 11.7% 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the 30 days standard deviation of 20% in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI Malaysia Index Fund, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (18.8%)
- During the last 3 years, the 30 days standard deviation is 20.7%, which is lower, thus better than the value of 22.3% from the benchmark.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the downside deviation of 14.8% in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI Malaysia Index Fund, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (13.7%)
- During the last 3 years, the downside volatility is 15.8%, which is lower, thus better than the value of 16.5% 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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.58) in the period of the last 5 years, the Sharpe Ratio of -0.01 of iShares MSCI Malaysia Index Fund is lower, thus worse.
- Looking at ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) in of -0.27 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.41).

'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 (0.8) in the period of the last 5 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of -0.02 of iShares MSCI Malaysia Index Fund is lower, thus worse.
- Looking at downside risk / excess return profile in of -0.35 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.56).

'The Ulcer Index is a technical indicator that measures downside risk, in terms of both the depth and duration of price declines. The index increases in value as the price moves farther away from a recent high and falls as the price rises to new highs. The indicator is usually calculated over a 14-day period, with the Ulcer Index showing the percentage drawdown a trader can expect from the high over that period. The greater the value of the Ulcer Index, the longer it takes for a stock to get back to the former high.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The Ulcer Index over 5 years of iShares MSCI Malaysia Index Fund is 14 , which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (5.79 ) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (7.08 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Ulcer Index of 17 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The maximum drop from peak to valley over 5 years of iShares MSCI Malaysia Index Fund is -43.8 days, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the same period.
- Looking at maximum reduction from previous high in of -43.8 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse 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). 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 (139 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum days under water of 620 days of iShares MSCI Malaysia Index Fund is greater, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 620 days is higher, 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.'

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 235 days of iShares MSCI Malaysia Index Fund is greater, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (45 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark of 266 days is greater, 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 Malaysia 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.