'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 investmentâ€™s overall performance.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The total return, or performance over 5 years of SPDR Gold Trust is 41.1%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (120.8%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the total return, or increase in value is 30.5%, which is smaller, thus worse than the value of 66.3% from the benchmark.

'Compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is a business and investing specific term for the geometric progression ratio that provides a constant rate of return over the time period. CAGR is not an accounting term, but it is often used to describe some element of the business, for example revenue, units delivered, registered users, etc. CAGR dampens the effect of volatility of periodic returns that can render arithmetic means irrelevant. It is particularly useful to compare growth rates from various data sets of common domain such as revenue growth of companies in the same industry.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over 5 years of SPDR Gold Trust is 7.1%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (17.2%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (18.5%) in the period of the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) of 9.3% is lower, thus worse.

'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:- The historical 30 days volatility over 5 years of SPDR Gold Trust is 13.7%, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (18.7%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (22.4%) in the period of the last 3 years, the historical 30 days volatility of 14.8% 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The downside risk over 5 years of SPDR Gold Trust is 9.7%, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (13.6%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (16.3%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside risk of 10.5% is lower, thus better.

'The Sharpe ratio (also known as the Sharpe index, the Sharpe measure, and the reward-to-variability ratio) is a way to examine the performance of an investment by adjusting for its risk. The ratio measures the excess return (or risk premium) per unit of deviation in an investment asset or a trading strategy, typically referred to as risk, named after William F. Sharpe.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The risk / return profile (Sharpe) over 5 years of SPDR Gold Trust is 0.34, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.78) in the same period.
- Looking at Sharpe Ratio in of 0.46 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.71).

'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:- Looking at the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 0.48 in the last 5 years of SPDR Gold Trust, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (1.08)
- During the last 3 years, the downside risk / excess return profile is 0.64, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.98 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:- Looking at the Ulcer Ratio of 7.8 in the last 5 years of SPDR Gold Trust, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (5.59 )
- Looking at Ulcer Ratio in of 7.22 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to SPY (6.83 ).

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the maximum DrawDown of -18.8 days in the last 5 years of SPDR Gold Trust, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days)
- During the last 3 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley is -18.8 days, which is larger, thus better than the value of -33.7 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:- Looking at the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 741 days in the last 5 years of SPDR Gold Trust, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (139 days)
- Compared with SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 293 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 days under water of 249 days in the last 5 years of SPDR Gold Trust, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (33 days)
- Compared with SPY (35 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average days below previous high of 91 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 SPDR Gold Trust 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.