'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 (121.6%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return of 51% of iShares MSCI Frontier 100 Fund is lower, thus worse.
- Looking at total return, or performance in of 21.4% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (64.5%).

'The compound annual growth rate isn't a true return rate, but rather a representational figure. It is essentially a number that describes the rate at which an investment would have grown if it had grown the same rate every year and the profits were reinvested at the end of each year. In reality, this sort of performance is unlikely. However, CAGR can be used to smooth returns so that they may be more easily understood when compared to alternative investments.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the annual performance (CAGR) of 8.6% 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 (17.3%)
- Compared with SPY (18.1%) in the period of the last 3 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.7% 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (18.7%) in the period of the last 5 years, the volatility of 16.8% of iShares MSCI Frontier 100 Fund is lower, thus better.
- During the last 3 years, the historical 30 days volatility is 19.3%, which is lower, thus better 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 risk of 13% 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 (13.5%)
- During the last 3 years, the downside risk is 15.3%, which is lower, thus better than the value of 16.4% from the benchmark.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) over 5 years of iShares MSCI Frontier 100 Fund is 0.36, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.79) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (0.69) in the period of the last 3 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of 0.22 is lower, thus worse.

'The Sortino ratio measures the risk-adjusted return of an investment asset, portfolio, or strategy. It is a modification of the Sharpe ratio but penalizes only those returns falling below a user-specified target or required rate of return, while the Sharpe ratio penalizes both upside and downside volatility equally. Though both ratios measure an investment's risk-adjusted return, they do so in significantly different ways that will frequently lead to differing conclusions as to the true nature of the investment's return-generating efficiency. The Sortino ratio is used as a way to compare the risk-adjusted performance of programs with differing risk and return profiles. In general, risk-adjusted returns seek to normalize the risk across programs and then see which has the higher return unit per risk.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the downside risk / excess return profile of 0.47 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 (1.09)
- During the last 3 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation is 0.27, which is smaller, thus worse than the value of 0.95 from the benchmark.

'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:- The Ulcer Ratio over 5 years of iShares MSCI Frontier 100 Fund is 15 , which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (5.58 ) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the Downside risk index is 12 , which is higher, thus worse than the value of 6.83 from the benchmark.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum DrawDown of -41.6 days of iShares MSCI Frontier 100 Fund is lower, thus worse.
- Looking at maximum reduction from previous high in of -37.1 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (-33.7 days).

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 846 days in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI Frontier 100 Fund, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (139 days)
- Looking at maximum days below previous high in of 301 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to SPY (139 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:- The average time in days below previous high water mark over 5 years of iShares MSCI Frontier 100 Fund is 309 days, which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (33 days) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (35 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average days below previous high of 106 days is larger, 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 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.