'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 SPDR S&P 500 is 121.2%, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (121.2%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the total return, or performance is 67.5%, which is higher, thus better than the value of 67.5% from the benchmark.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The annual performance (CAGR) over 5 years of SPDR S&P 500 is 17.2%, which is higher, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (17.2%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) is 18.7%, which is higher, thus better than the value of 18.7% from the benchmark.

'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 30 days standard deviation over 5 years of SPDR S&P 500 is 18.7%, which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (18.7%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the 30 days standard deviation is 22.5%, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 22.5% 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 higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (13.6%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (16.3%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside risk of 16.3% is larger, thus worse.

'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 (0.79) in the period of the last 5 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of 0.79 of SPDR S&P 500 is higher, thus better.
- During the last 3 years, the Sharpe Ratio is 0.72, which is larger, thus better than the value of 0.72 from the benchmark.

'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:- Looking at the downside risk / excess return profile of 1.08 in the last 5 years of SPDR S&P 500, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (1.08)
- During the last 3 years, the downside risk / excess return profile is 1, which is greater, thus better than the value of 1 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- 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 higher, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the Ulcer Index is 6.83 , which is higher, thus worse than the value of 6.83 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The maximum drop from peak to valley over 5 years of SPDR S&P 500 is -33.7 days, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum DrawDown is -33.7 days, which is higher, thus better than the value of -33.7 days from the benchmark.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the maximum days under water of 139 days in the last 5 years of SPDR S&P 500, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (139 days)
- Compared with SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum days under water of 139 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The average time in days below previous high water mark over 5 years of SPDR S&P 500 is 33 days, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (33 days) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark is 35 days, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 35 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 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.