'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 (129.1%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return, or increase in value of 24.6% of iShares MSCI South Africa Index Fund is lower, thus worse.
- Looking at total return, or performance in of 23.7% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (71.3%).

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the annual performance (CAGR) of 4.5% 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 (18.1%)
- During the last 3 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) is 7.4%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 19.7% 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The historical 30 days volatility over 5 years of iShares MSCI South Africa Index Fund is 33%, which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (18.7%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the historical 30 days volatility is 35.2%, which is greater, thus worse than the value of 22.5% from the benchmark.

'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:- Looking at the downside volatility of 24.2% in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI South Africa Index Fund, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (13.6%)
- Compared with SPY (16.3%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside volatility of 25.9% is greater, thus worse.

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The Sharpe Ratio over 5 years of iShares MSCI South Africa Index Fund is 0.06, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.83) in the same period.
- Looking at risk / return profile (Sharpe) in of 0.14 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.76).

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The excess return divided by the downside deviation over 5 years of iShares MSCI South Africa Index Fund is 0.08, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (1.15) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation is 0.19, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 1.05 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (5.59 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Ulcer Ratio of 26 of iShares MSCI South Africa Index Fund is greater, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (6.38 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Downside risk 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The maximum reduction from previous high over 5 years of iShares MSCI South Africa Index Fund is -62.3 days, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (-33.7 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum reduction from previous high of -52.5 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.'

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 below previous high of 937 days of iShares MSCI South Africa Index Fund is greater, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (119 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum days under water of 457 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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (32 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark of 365 days of iShares MSCI South Africa Index Fund is greater, thus worse.
- Looking at average time in days below previous high water mark in of 153 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to SPY (25 days).

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.