'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The total return, or performance over 5 years of SPDR S&P 500 is 120.7%, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (120.7%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (44%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return of 44% is higher, thus better.

'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:- The annual return (CAGR) over 5 years of SPDR S&P 500 is 17.2%, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (17.2%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (12.9%) in the period of the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) of 12.9% is higher, thus better.

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The 30 days standard deviation over 5 years of SPDR S&P 500 is 18.8%, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (18.8%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the volatility is 22.8%, which is greater, thus worse than the value of 22.8% 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The downside risk over 5 years of SPDR S&P 500 is 13.6%, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (13.6%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the downside risk is 16.7%, which is greater, thus worse than the value of 16.7% from the benchmark.

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.78) in the period of the last 5 years, the Sharpe Ratio of 0.78 of SPDR S&P 500 is larger, thus better.
- Compared with SPY (0.46) in the period of the last 3 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of 0.46 is higher, thus better.

'The Sortino ratio measures the risk-adjusted return of an investment asset, portfolio, or strategy. It is a modification of the Sharpe ratio but penalizes only those returns falling below a user-specified target or required rate of return, while the Sharpe ratio penalizes both upside and downside volatility equally. Though both ratios measure an investment's risk-adjusted return, they do so in significantly different ways that will frequently lead to differing conclusions as to the true nature of the investment's return-generating efficiency. The Sortino ratio is used as a way to compare the risk-adjusted performance of programs with differing risk and return profiles. In general, risk-adjusted returns seek to normalize the risk across programs and then see which has the higher return unit per risk.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (1.08) in the period of the last 5 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 1.08 of SPDR S&P 500 is larger, thus better.
- Looking at downside risk / excess return profile in of 0.62 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to SPY (0.62).

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (5.59 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Downside risk index of 5.59 of SPDR S&P 500 is greater, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the Downside risk index is 7.15 , which is greater, thus worse than the value of 7.15 from the benchmark.

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The maximum reduction from previous high over 5 years of SPDR S&P 500 is -33.7 days, which is higher, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the same period.
- Looking at maximum drop from peak to valley in of -33.7 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to SPY (-33.7 days).

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum days under water of 139 days of SPDR S&P 500 is larger, thus worse.
- Looking at maximum days below previous high in of 139 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (33 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average days below previous high of 33 days of SPDR S&P 500 is greater, thus worse.
- Looking at average time in days below previous high water mark in of 45 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to SPY (45 days).

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 SPDR S&P 500 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.