'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (65.8%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return, or increase in value of 19.2% of SPDR Gold Trust is lower, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (48.8%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return of 13.2% is lower, thus worse.

'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 (10.6%) in the period of the last 5 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.6% of SPDR Gold Trust is lower, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (14.2%) in the period of the last 3 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.2% is lower, 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The historical 30 days volatility over 5 years of SPDR Gold Trust is 13.1%, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (13.6%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the 30 days standard deviation is 10.8%, which is smaller, thus better than the value of 12.8% from the benchmark.

'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:- The downside deviation over 5 years of SPDR Gold Trust is 13%, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (15%) in the same period.
- Looking at downside risk in of 11.3% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (14.6%).

'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 (0.6) in the period of the last 5 years, the Sharpe Ratio of 0.08 of SPDR Gold Trust is lower, thus worse.
- Looking at risk / return profile (Sharpe) in of 0.16 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.91).

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.54) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside risk / excess return profile of 0.08 of SPDR Gold Trust is smaller, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation is 0.15, which is smaller, thus worse than the value of 0.8 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:- The Ulcer Ratio over 5 years of SPDR Gold Trust is 8.83 , which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (4.03 ) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the Ulcer Index is 6.93 , which is greater, thus worse than the value of 4.1 from the benchmark.

'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 SPDR Gold Trust is -19.7 days, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (-19.3 days) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (-19.3 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum reduction from previous high of -15.9 days is higher, thus better.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (187 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 741 days of SPDR Gold Trust is larger, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 352 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 (41 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark of 278 days of SPDR Gold Trust is greater, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (35 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark of 131 days is higher, thus worse.

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 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.