'Total return is the amount of value an investor earns from a security over a specific period, typically one year, when all distributions are reinvested. Total return is expressed as a percentage of the amount invested. For example, a total return of 20% means the security increased by 20% of its original value due to a price increase, distribution of dividends (if a stock), coupons (if a bond) or capital gains (if a fund). Total return is a strong measure of an investment’s overall performance.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (60.7%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return, or increase in value of -4.5% of iShares MSCI Frontier 100 Fund is lower, thus worse.
- Looking at total return, or performance in of -2.1% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (29.5%).

'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 compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of -0.9% in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI Frontier 100 Fund, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (10%)
- During the last 3 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) is -0.7%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 9% 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (20.8%) in the period of the last 5 years, the volatility of 17.3% of iShares MSCI Frontier 100 Fund is lower, thus better.
- Compared with SPY (24%) in the period of the last 3 years, the volatility of 19.5% is smaller, thus better.

'Downside risk is the financial risk associated with losses. That is, it is the risk of the actual return being below the expected return, or the uncertainty about the magnitude of that difference. 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:- Looking at the downside volatility of 13.7% in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI Frontier 100 Fund, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (15.3%)
- During the last 3 years, the downside volatility is 15.6%, which is lower, thus better than the value of 17.6% from the benchmark.

'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 risk / return profile (Sharpe) of -0.2 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 (0.36)
- Compared with SPY (0.27) in the period of the last 3 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of -0.16 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The ratio of annual return and downside deviation over 5 years of iShares MSCI Frontier 100 Fund is -0.25, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.49) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (0.37) in the period of the last 3 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of -0.21 is lower, 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:- The Ulcer Index over 5 years of iShares MSCI Frontier 100 Fund is 16 , which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (7.52 ) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (8.81 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Downside risk index of 14 is greater, 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 Frontier 100 Fund is -41.6 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 -37.1 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:- The maximum days under water over 5 years of iShares MSCI Frontier 100 Fund is 846 days, which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (182 days) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (182 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum days under water of 301 days is higher, 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (45 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark of 320 days of iShares MSCI Frontier 100 Fund is higher, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (43 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average days under water of 105 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.