'The total return on a portfolio of investments takes into account not only the capital appreciation on the portfolio, but also the income received on the portfolio. The income typically consists of interest, dividends, and securities lending fees. This contrasts with the price return, which takes into account only the capital gain on an investment.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (57.1%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return, or increase in value of -5.7% of iShares MSCI South Africa Index Fund is lower, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (32%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return, or performance of 8.5% is smaller, thus worse.

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (9.5%) in the period of the last 5 years, the annual return (CAGR) of -1.2% of iShares MSCI South Africa Index Fund is lower, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (9.7%) in the period of the last 3 years, the annual performance (CAGR) of 2.7% is smaller, thus worse.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The volatility over 5 years of iShares MSCI South Africa Index Fund is 33.4%, which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (21.5%) in the same period.
- Looking at 30 days standard deviation in of 29% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to SPY (17.9%).

'The downside volatility is similar to the volatility, or standard deviation, but only takes losing/negative periods into account.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The downside volatility over 5 years of iShares MSCI South Africa Index Fund is 24.1%, which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (15.5%) in the same period.
- Looking at downside deviation in of 20.1% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to SPY (12.5%).

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.32) in the period of the last 5 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of -0.11 of iShares MSCI South Africa Index Fund is smaller, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (0.41) in the period of the last 3 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of 0.01 is smaller, thus worse.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of -0.15 in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI South Africa Index Fund, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.45)
- During the last 3 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation is 0.01, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.58 from the benchmark.

'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:- Looking at the Downside risk index of 19 in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI South Africa Index Fund, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (9.57 )
- Looking at Downside risk index in of 18 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to SPY (10 ).

'Maximum drawdown measures the loss in any losing period during a fund’s investment record. It is defined as the percent retrenchment from a fund’s peak value to the fund’s valley value. The drawdown is in effect from the time the fund’s retrenchment begins until a new fund high is reached. The maximum drawdown encompasses both the period from the fund’s peak to the fund’s valley (length), and the time from the fund’s valley to a new fund high (recovery). It measures the largest percentage drawdown that has occurred in any fund’s data record.'

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 -52.5 days of iShares MSCI South Africa Index Fund is smaller, thus worse.
- Looking at maximum DrawDown in of -34.9 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, 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'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the maximum days under water of 457 days in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI South Africa Index Fund, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (439 days)
- Compared with SPY (439 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum days under water of 377 days is lower, thus better.

'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:- The average time in days below previous high water mark over 5 years of iShares MSCI South Africa Index Fund is 162 days, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (106 days) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (149 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average days below previous high of 129 days is smaller, thus better.

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.