'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (80.4%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return, or performance of 10.3% of iShares MSCI Frontier 100 Fund is smaller, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (30.7%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return of 0.9% 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the annual return (CAGR) of 2% in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI Frontier 100 Fund, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (12.6%)
- Looking at annual return (CAGR) in of 0.3% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (9.4%).

'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 historical 30 days volatility of 17.2% in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI Frontier 100 Fund, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (21.3%)
- Compared with SPY (17.6%) in the period of the last 3 years, the volatility of 13.1% is smaller, thus better.

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (15.3%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside volatility of 13.5% of iShares MSCI Frontier 100 Fund is lower, thus better.
- Compared with SPY (12.3%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside risk of 9.6% is lower, thus better.

'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:- Looking at the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of -0.03 in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI Frontier 100 Fund, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.47)
- Compared with SPY (0.39) in the period of the last 3 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of -0.17 is lower, 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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.66) in the period of the last 5 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of -0.04 of iShares MSCI Frontier 100 Fund is lower, thus worse.
- Looking at downside risk / excess return profile in of -0.23 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.56).

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (9.43 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Downside risk index of 17 of iShares MSCI Frontier 100 Fund is higher, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the Downside risk index is 19 , which is greater, thus worse than the value of 10 from the benchmark.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The maximum reduction from previous high over 5 years of iShares MSCI Frontier 100 Fund is -37.1 days, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (-24.5 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum DrawDown of -34.3 days is lower, thus worse.

'The Maximum 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. It is the length of time the account was in the Max Drawdown. A Max Drawdown measures a retrenchment from when an equity curve reaches a new high. It’s the maximum an account lost during that retrenchment. This method is applied because a valley can’t be measured until a new high occurs. Once the new high is reached, the percentage change from the old high to the bottom of the largest trough is recorded.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the maximum days below previous high of 517 days in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI Frontier 100 Fund, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (479 days)
- Compared with SPY (479 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum days under water of 517 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the average time in days below previous high water mark of 162 days in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI Frontier 100 Fund, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (119 days)
- Looking at average days under water in of 196 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to SPY (173 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 Frontier 100 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.