'Total return, when measuring performance, is the actual rate of return of an investment or a pool of investments over a given evaluation period. Total return includes interest, capital gains, dividends and distributions realized over a given period of time. Total return accounts for two categories of return: income including interest paid by fixed-income investments, distributions or dividends and capital appreciation, representing the change in the market price of an asset.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The total return, or increase in value over 5 years of SPDR Gold Trust is -6.5%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (68.1%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (47.1%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return, or performance of 2.4% is smaller, 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 (11%) in the period of the last 5 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of -1.3% of SPDR Gold Trust is smaller, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (13.8%) in the period of the last 3 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 0.8% 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The historical 30 days volatility over 5 years of SPDR Gold Trust is 13%, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (13.2%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the volatility is 11.4%, which is lower, thus better than the value of 12.4% from the benchmark.

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (14.6%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside risk of 12.8% of SPDR Gold Trust is lower, thus better.
- Looking at downside deviation in of 11.6% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (14%).

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the Sharpe Ratio of -0.29 in the last 5 years of SPDR Gold Trust, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.64)
- During the last 3 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) is -0.15, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.91 from the benchmark.

'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:- The ratio of annual return and downside deviation over 5 years of SPDR Gold Trust is -0.3, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.58) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the downside risk / excess return profile is -0.15, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.8 from the benchmark.

'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:- The Downside risk index over 5 years of SPDR Gold Trust is 11 , which is higher, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (3.95 ) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (4 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Downside risk index of 8.14 is larger, thus better.

'Maximum drawdown measures the loss in any losing period during a fund’s investment record. It is defined as the percent retrenchment from a fund’s peak value to the fund’s valley value. The drawdown is in effect from the time the fund’s retrenchment begins until a new fund high is reached. The maximum drawdown encompasses both the period from the fund’s peak to the fund’s valley (length), and the time from the fund’s valley to a new fund high (recovery). It measures the largest percentage drawdown that has occurred in any fund’s data record.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The maximum reduction from previous high over 5 years of SPDR Gold Trust is -23.7 days, which is lower, 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 DrawDown of -17.8 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). Many assume Max DD Duration is the length of time between new highs during which the Max DD (magnitude) occurred. But that isn’t always the case. The Max DD duration is the longest time between peaks, period. So it could be the time when the program also had its biggest peak to valley loss (and usually is, because the program needs a long time to recover from the largest loss), but it doesn’t have to be'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The maximum time in days below previous high water mark over 5 years of SPDR Gold Trust is 1259 days, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (187 days) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (131 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum days under water of 676 days is greater, thus worse.

'The Average 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. 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:- The average days under water over 5 years of SPDR Gold Trust is 630 days, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (39 days) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark is 309 days, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 33 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 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.