'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 66.3% in the last 5 years of SPDR Gold Trust, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (128%)
- Looking at total return, or performance in of 38.6% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (44.9%).

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (17.9%) in the period of the last 5 years, the annual performance (CAGR) of 10.7% of SPDR Gold Trust is lower, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (13.2%) in the period of the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) of 11.5% 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the 30 days standard deviation of 14% in the last 5 years of SPDR Gold Trust, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (18.7%)
- Looking at volatility in of 14.5% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (22.9%).

'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:- The downside deviation 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.
- Looking at downside deviation in of 10.3% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (16.7%).

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.82) in the period of the last 5 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of 0.59 of SPDR Gold Trust is lower, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) is 0.62, which is larger, thus better than the value of 0.47 from the benchmark.

'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:- Looking at the downside risk / excess return profile of 0.85 in the last 5 years of SPDR Gold Trust, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (1.14)
- Compared with SPY (0.64) in the period of the last 3 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 0.88 is larger, thus better.

'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:- Looking at the Ulcer Ratio of 7.12 in the last 5 years of SPDR Gold Trust, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (5.59 )
- During the last 3 years, the Ulcer Index is 6.24 , which is lower, thus better than the value of 7.15 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 SPDR Gold Trust is -17.8 days, which is larger, thus better 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 DrawDown of -14 days is higher, thus better.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The maximum days below previous high over 5 years of SPDR Gold Trust is 741 days, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (139 days) in the same period.
- Looking at maximum days under water in of 352 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to SPY (139 days).

'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:- Looking at the average days under water of 245 days in the last 5 years of SPDR Gold Trust, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (33 days)
- Compared with SPY (45 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.
[Show Details]

- 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.