'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The total return, or performance over 5 years of iShares MSCI Saudi Arabia ETF is 44%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (61.9%) in the same period.
- Looking at total return, or increase in value in of 80.2% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to SPY (79.4%).

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (10.1%) in the period of the last 5 years, the annual return (CAGR) of 7.6% of iShares MSCI Saudi Arabia ETF is smaller, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (21.5%) in the period of the last 3 years, the annual performance (CAGR) of 21.7% is greater, thus better.

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (21.5%) in the period of the last 5 years, the 30 days standard deviation of 23.5% of iShares MSCI Saudi Arabia ETF is larger, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (21.2%) in the period of the last 3 years, the volatility of 19.4% is lower, 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the downside deviation of 16.6% in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI Saudi Arabia ETF, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (15.5%)
- Looking at downside volatility in of 12.9% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to SPY (14.1%).

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.36) in the period of the last 5 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of 0.22 of iShares MSCI Saudi Arabia ETF is smaller, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) is 0.99, which is higher, thus better than the value of 0.9 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 excess return divided by the downside deviation over 5 years of iShares MSCI Saudi Arabia ETF is 0.31, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.49) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation is 1.49, which is higher, thus better than the value of 1.35 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 Ulcer Index over 5 years of iShares MSCI Saudi Arabia ETF is 13 , which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (9.15 ) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the Downside risk index is 11 , which is greater, thus worse than the value of 9.78 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The maximum reduction from previous high over 5 years of iShares MSCI Saudi Arabia ETF is -40.6 days, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (-24.5 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum DrawDown of -28.1 days is lower, thus worse.

'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 days below previous high over 5 years of iShares MSCI Saudi Arabia ETF is 465 days, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (305 days) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (305 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum days below previous high of 233 days is smaller, thus better.

'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 127 days in the last 5 years of iShares MSCI Saudi Arabia ETF, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (65 days)
- During the last 3 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark is 48 days, which is lower, thus better than the value of 80 days from the benchmark.

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 iShares MSCI Saudi Arabia ETF 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.