'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the total return of -2.3% 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 (66.1%)
- Looking at total return, or increase in value in of 30.4% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (46.2%).

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The annual return (CAGR) over 5 years of iShares MSCI Frontier 100 Fund is -0.5%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (10.7%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (13.5%) in the period of the last 3 years, the annual performance (CAGR) of 9.3% is smaller, thus worse.

'In finance, volatility (symbol σ) is the degree of variation of a trading price series over time as measured by the standard deviation of logarithmic returns. Historic volatility measures a time series of past market prices. Implied volatility looks forward in time, being derived from the market price of a market-traded derivative (in particular, an option). Commonly, the higher the volatility, the riskier the security.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The volatility over 5 years of iShares MSCI Frontier 100 Fund is 13.9%, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (13.4%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (12.3%) in the period of the last 3 years, the historical 30 days volatility of 12.4% is greater, thus worse.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (14.6%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside deviation of 14.6% of iShares MSCI Frontier 100 Fund is larger, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (13.9%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside risk of 13.4% is smaller, 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.61) in the period of the last 5 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of -0.21 of iShares MSCI Frontier 100 Fund is lower, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (0.9) in the period of the last 3 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of 0.55 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.56) in the period of the last 5 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of -0.2 of iShares MSCI Frontier 100 Fund is lower, thus worse.
- Looking at excess return divided by the downside deviation in of 0.5 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.8).

'The Ulcer Index is a technical indicator that measures downside risk, in terms of both the depth and duration of price declines. The index increases in value as the price moves farther away from a recent high and falls as the price rises to new highs. The indicator is usually calculated over a 14-day period, with the Ulcer Index showing the percentage drawdown a trader can expect from the high over that period. The greater the value of the Ulcer Index, the longer it takes for a stock to get back to the former high.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The Downside risk index over 5 years of iShares MSCI Frontier 100 Fund is 19 , which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (3.99 ) in the same period.
- Looking at Ulcer Ratio in of 12 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to SPY (4.04 ).

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The maximum DrawDown over 5 years of iShares MSCI Frontier 100 Fund is -36.6 days, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (-19.3 days) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley is -25.2 days, which is lower, thus worse than the value of -19.3 days from the benchmark.

'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:- The maximum days under water over 5 years of iShares MSCI Frontier 100 Fund is 857 days, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (187 days) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum days below previous high of 373 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The average days under water over 5 years of iShares MSCI Frontier 100 Fund is 352 days, which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (41 days) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the average days below previous high is 108 days, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 36 days from the benchmark.

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.
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- "Year" returns in the table above are not equal to 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.