'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (63%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return of 47.9% of Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund is smaller, thus worse.
- Looking at total return in of 31.1% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (33.5%).

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (10.3%) in the period of the last 5 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.1% of Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund is lower, thus worse.
- Looking at compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) in of 9.4% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (10.1%).

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The historical 30 days volatility over 5 years of Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund is 25.4%, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (21.6%) in the same period.
- Looking at 30 days standard deviation in of 30.1% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to SPY (25.1%).

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The downside volatility over 5 years of Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund is 18.5%, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (15.6%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (18.1%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside volatility of 21.9% is higher, 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:- The ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) over 5 years of Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund is 0.22, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.36) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (0.3) in the period of the last 3 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of 0.23 is smaller, thus worse.

'The Sortino ratio, a variation of the Sharpe ratio only factors in the downside, or negative volatility, rather than the total volatility used in calculating the Sharpe ratio. The theory behind the Sortino variation is that upside volatility is a plus for the investment, and it, therefore, should not be included in the risk calculation. Therefore, the Sortino ratio takes upside volatility out of the equation and uses only the downside standard deviation in its calculation instead of the total standard deviation that is used in calculating the Sharpe ratio.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The ratio of annual return and downside deviation over 5 years of Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund is 0.31, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.5) in the same period.
- Looking at excess return divided by the downside deviation in of 0.32 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.42).

'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 (8.88 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Ulcer Index of 12 of Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund is larger, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (11 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Downside risk index of 14 is greater, 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 drop from peak to valley over 5 years of Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund is -41.8 days, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley is -41.8 days, which is smaller, thus worse 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (273 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 312 days of Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund is larger, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum days below previous high is 311 days, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 273 days from the benchmark.

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (57 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark of 102 days of Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund is greater, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (73 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark of 97 days is higher, thus worse.

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 Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund 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.