'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The total return, or performance over 5 years of Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund is 95.1%, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (122.1%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the total return, or performance is 45.3%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 64.6% from the benchmark.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The annual performance (CAGR) over 5 years of Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund is 14.4%, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (17.3%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) is 13.3%, which is smaller, thus worse than the value of 18.1% from the benchmark.

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (18.7%) in the period of the last 5 years, the 30 days standard deviation of 22.4% of Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund is higher, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the historical 30 days volatility is 27.1%, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 22.5% from the benchmark.

'The downside volatility is similar to the volatility, or standard deviation, but only takes losing/negative periods into account.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the downside deviation of 16.5% in the last 5 years of Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (13.6%)
- During the last 3 years, the downside volatility is 20%, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 16.4% from the benchmark.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.79) in the period of the last 5 years, the Sharpe Ratio of 0.53 of Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund is smaller, thus worse.
- Looking at Sharpe Ratio in of 0.4 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.69).

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (1.09) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside risk / excess return profile of 0.72 of Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund is lower, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (0.95) in the period of the last 3 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 0.54 is lower, thus worse.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The Ulcer Index over 5 years of Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund is 8.13 , which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (5.58 ) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the Ulcer Index is 10 , which is higher, thus worse than the value of 6.83 from the benchmark.

'Maximum drawdown is defined as the peak-to-trough decline of an investment during a specific period. It is usually quoted as a percentage of the peak value. The maximum drawdown can be calculated based on absolute returns, in order to identify strategies that suffer less during market downturns, such as low-volatility strategies. However, the maximum drawdown can also be calculated based on returns relative to a benchmark index, for identifying strategies that show steady outperformance over time.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the maximum drop from peak to valley of -41.8 days in the last 5 years of Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days)
- Looking at maximum reduction from previous high in of -41.8 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (-33.7 days).

'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:- The maximum time in days below previous high water mark over 5 years of Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund is 312 days, which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (139 days) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum days under water is 312 days, which is greater, thus worse than the value of 139 days from the benchmark.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the average time in days below previous high water mark of 68 days in the last 5 years of Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (33 days)
- Looking at average days below previous high in of 98 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to SPY (35 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 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.