'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the total return, or increase in value of -20% in the last 5 years of iPath Series B S&P 500 VIX Mid-Term Futures ETN, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (74.6%)
- Looking at total return, or increase in value in of 45.6% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to SPY (44.7%).

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (11.8%) in the period of the last 5 years, the annual return (CAGR) of -4.4% of iPath Series B S&P 500 VIX Mid-Term Futures ETN is smaller, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) is 13.4%, which is greater, thus better than the value of 13.1% from the benchmark.

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The historical 30 days volatility over 5 years of iPath Series B S&P 500 VIX Mid-Term Futures ETN is 37.2%, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (19%) in the same period.
- Looking at 30 days standard deviation in of 40.3% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to SPY (22.1%).

'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 risk of 22.1% in the last 5 years of iPath Series B S&P 500 VIX Mid-Term Futures ETN, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (13.9%)
- Compared with SPY (16.2%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside risk of 22.3% is greater, thus worse.

'The Sharpe ratio is the measure of risk-adjusted return of a financial portfolio. Sharpe ratio is a measure of excess portfolio return over the risk-free rate relative to its standard deviation. Normally, the 90-day Treasury bill rate is taken as the proxy for risk-free rate. A portfolio with a higher Sharpe ratio is considered superior relative to its peers. The measure was named after William F Sharpe, a Nobel laureate and professor of finance, emeritus at Stanford University.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of -0.18 in the last 5 years of iPath Series B S&P 500 VIX Mid-Term Futures ETN, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.49)
- Looking at risk / return profile (Sharpe) in of 0.27 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.48).

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of -0.31 in the last 5 years of iPath Series B S&P 500 VIX Mid-Term Futures ETN, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.67)
- Compared with SPY (0.66) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside risk / excess return profile of 0.49 is smaller, thus worse.

'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:- Looking at the Downside risk index of 55 in the last 5 years of iPath Series B S&P 500 VIX Mid-Term Futures ETN, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (5.87 )
- Compared with SPY (7.02 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Downside risk index of 18 is higher, thus worse.

'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 DrawDown over 5 years of iPath Series B S&P 500 VIX Mid-Term Futures ETN is -71.4 days, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (-33.7 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum reduction from previous high of -29.1 days is larger, 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'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the maximum days below previous high of 1244 days in the last 5 years of iPath Series B S&P 500 VIX Mid-Term Futures ETN, we see it is relatively higher, 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 time in days below previous high water mark of 645 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (37 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark of 619 days of iPath Series B S&P 500 VIX Mid-Term Futures ETN is larger, thus worse.
- Looking at average days below previous high in of 285 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 iPath Series B S&P 500 VIX Mid-Term Futures ETN 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.