'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (88%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return of -14.7% of iShares MSCI South Africa Index Fund is lower, thus worse.
- Looking at total return, or performance in of -29.4% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (39.5%).

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The annual return (CAGR) over 5 years of iShares MSCI South Africa Index Fund is -3.1%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (13.5%) in the same period.
- Looking at compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) in of -10.9% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (11.7%).

'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:- The 30 days standard deviation over 5 years of iShares MSCI South Africa Index Fund is 35.1%, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (18.8%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the volatility is 36.7%, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 22.3% from the benchmark.

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (13.7%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside deviation of 25.8% of iShares MSCI South Africa Index Fund is greater, thus worse.
- Looking at downside risk in of 27.5% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to SPY (16.5%).

'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:- Looking at the Sharpe Ratio of -0.16 in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI South Africa Index Fund, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.58)
- Looking at Sharpe Ratio in of -0.37 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.41).

'The Sortino ratio improves upon the Sharpe ratio by isolating downside volatility from total volatility by dividing excess return by the downside deviation. The Sortino ratio is a variation of the Sharpe ratio that differentiates harmful volatility from total overall volatility by using the asset's standard deviation of negative asset returns, called downside deviation. The Sortino ratio takes the asset's return and subtracts the risk-free rate, and then divides that amount by the asset's downside deviation. The ratio was named after Frank A. Sortino.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.8) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside risk / excess return profile of -0.22 of iShares MSCI South Africa Index Fund is lower, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (0.56) in the period of the last 3 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of -0.49 is smaller, 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (5.79 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Ulcer Ratio of 24 of iShares MSCI South Africa Index Fund is higher, thus worse.
- Looking at Downside risk index in of 30 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to SPY (7.08 ).

'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 reduction from previous high of -62.3 days of iShares MSCI South Africa Index Fund is lower, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (-33.7 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum reduction from previous high of -62.3 days is smaller, 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum days below previous high of 671 days of iShares MSCI South Africa Index Fund is higher, thus worse.
- Looking at maximum days under water in of 671 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to SPY (139 days).

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (37 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average days below previous high of 214 days of iShares MSCI South Africa Index Fund is higher, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (45 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average days under water of 308 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 South Africa 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.