'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The total return, or increase in value over 5 years of Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund is 57.6%, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (100.7%) in the same period.
- Looking at total return, or increase in value in of 7% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (33.2%).

'Compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is a business and investing specific term for the geometric progression ratio that provides a constant rate of return over the time period. CAGR is not an accounting term, but it is often used to describe some element of the business, for example revenue, units delivered, registered users, etc. CAGR dampens the effect of volatility of periodic returns that can render arithmetic means irrelevant. It is particularly useful to compare growth rates from various data sets of common domain such as revenue growth of companies in the same industry.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the annual performance (CAGR) of 9.5% in the last 5 years of Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (15%)
- Looking at annual return (CAGR) in of 2.3% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (10%).

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (20.9%) in the period of the last 5 years, the volatility of 25.5% of Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund is larger, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the volatility is 21.3%, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 17.3% from the benchmark.

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (15%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside volatility of 18.5% of Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund is greater, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (12%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside volatility of 14.9% 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of 0.28 in the last 5 years of Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.6)
- Looking at risk / return profile (Sharpe) in of -0.01 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.44).

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.83) in the period of the last 5 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 0.38 of Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund is smaller, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation is -0.01, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.62 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:- Looking at the Downside risk index of 14 in the last 5 years of Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (9.32 )
- During the last 3 years, the Ulcer Index is 15 , which is greater, thus worse than the value of 10 from the benchmark.

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum reduction from previous high of -41.8 days of Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund is lower, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum reduction from previous high is -28.2 days, which is smaller, thus worse than the value of -24.5 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The maximum days below previous high over 5 years of Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund is 633 days, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (488 days) in the same period.
- Looking at maximum days below previous high in of 633 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to SPY (488 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The average time in days below previous high water mark over 5 years of Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund is 190 days, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (123 days) in the same period.
- Looking at average time in days below previous high water mark in of 275 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to SPY (180 days).

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.
[Show Details]

- Note that yearly returns do not equal the sum of monthly returns due to compounding.
- Performance results of Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund are hypothetical and do not account for slippage, fees or taxes.