'The total return on a portfolio of investments takes into account not only the capital appreciation on the portfolio, but also the income received on the portfolio. The income typically consists of interest, dividends, and securities lending fees. This contrasts with the price return, which takes into account only the capital gain on an investment.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (66%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return, or increase in value of 8.7% of iShares Short Maturity Bond ETF is lower, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (45.6%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return, or increase in value of 6.2% is lower, thus worse.

'The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is a useful measure of growth over multiple time periods. It can be thought of as the growth rate that gets you from the initial investment value to the ending investment value if you assume that the investment has been compounding over the time period.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (10.7%) in the period of the last 5 years, the annual return (CAGR) of 1.7% of iShares Short Maturity Bond ETF is smaller, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the annual performance (CAGR) is 2%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 13.3% from the benchmark.

'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 volatility over 5 years of iShares Short Maturity Bond ETF is 1%, which is smaller, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (13.4%) in the same period.
- Looking at 30 days standard deviation in of 0.4% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to SPY (12.3%).

'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 1.3% in the last 5 years of iShares Short Maturity Bond ETF, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (14.6%)
- During the last 3 years, the downside volatility is 0.6%, which is lower, thus better than the value of 13.8% from the benchmark.

'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:- Looking at the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of -0.85 in the last 5 years of iShares Short Maturity Bond ETF, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.61)
- Compared with SPY (0.88) in the period of the last 3 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of -1.05 is smaller, thus worse.

'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 downside risk / excess return profile over 5 years of iShares Short Maturity Bond ETF is -0.61, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.56) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation is -0.73, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.78 from the benchmark.

'The Ulcer Index is a technical indicator that measures downside risk, in terms of both the depth and duration of price declines. The index increases in value as the price moves farther away from a recent high and falls as the price rises to new highs. The indicator is usually calculated over a 14-day period, with the Ulcer Index showing the percentage drawdown a trader can expect from the high over that period. The greater the value of the Ulcer Index, the longer it takes for a stock to get back to the former high.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (3.99 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Downside risk index of 0.2 of iShares Short Maturity Bond ETF is lower, thus better.
- Compared with SPY (4.04 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Ulcer Ratio of 0.03 is lower, thus better.

'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 reduction from previous high of -0.9 days in the last 5 years of iShares Short Maturity Bond ETF, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (-19.3 days)
- Compared with SPY (-19.3 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum reduction from previous high of -0.2 days is larger, 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (187 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum days under water of 118 days of iShares Short Maturity Bond ETF is lower, thus better.
- Compared with SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum days below previous high of 29 days is smaller, thus better.

'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.'

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 days below previous high of 22 days of iShares Short Maturity Bond ETF is lower, thus better.
- During the last 3 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark is 5 days, which is smaller, thus better than the value of 36 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 iShares Short Maturity Bond 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.