'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:- The total return, or performance over 5 years of iShares MSCI Taiwan ETF is 90.9%, which is higher, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (80%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (31.8%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return, or increase in value of 21.5% is smaller, 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The annual return (CAGR) over 5 years of iShares MSCI Taiwan ETF is 13.8%, which is higher, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (12.5%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the annual performance (CAGR) is 6.7%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 9.7% 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (21.3%) in the period of the last 5 years, the historical 30 days volatility of 21.6% of iShares MSCI Taiwan ETF is greater, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the historical 30 days volatility is 20.2%, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 17.6% 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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (15.3%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside risk of 15.7% of iShares MSCI Taiwan ETF is higher, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (12.3%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside deviation of 14.3% is larger, thus worse.

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.47) in the period of the last 5 years, the Sharpe Ratio of 0.52 of iShares MSCI Taiwan ETF is larger, thus better.
- During the last 3 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) is 0.21, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.41 from the benchmark.

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.66) in the period of the last 5 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 0.72 of iShares MSCI Taiwan ETF is higher, thus better.
- During the last 3 years, the downside risk / excess return profile is 0.29, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.58 from the benchmark.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The Ulcer Ratio over 5 years of iShares MSCI Taiwan ETF is 15 , which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (9.43 ) in the same period.
- Looking at Ulcer Index in of 18 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to SPY (10 ).

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The maximum drop from peak to valley over 5 years of iShares MSCI Taiwan ETF is -38.9 days, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the same period.
- Looking at maximum drop from peak to valley in of -38.9 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (-24.5 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:- Looking at the maximum days below previous high of 479 days in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI Taiwan ETF, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (480 days)
- Looking at maximum time in days below previous high water mark in of 479 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (480 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 days under water of 118 days in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI Taiwan ETF, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (119 days)
- Looking at average time in days below previous high water mark in of 171 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (174 days).

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.
[Show Details]

- Note that yearly returns do not equal the sum of monthly returns due to compounding.
- Performance results of iShares MSCI Taiwan 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.