'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 performance over 5 years of Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund is -0.2%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (94.8%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the total return, or performance is -9.7%, which is smaller, thus worse than the value of 31.6% from the benchmark.

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over 5 years of Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund is 0%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (14.3%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (9.6%) in the period of the last 3 years, the annual performance (CAGR) of -3.3% is smaller, thus worse.

'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:- Looking at the volatility of 5.9% in the last 5 years of Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (20.9%)
- Looking at historical 30 days volatility in of 6.7% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (17.3%).

'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 deviation of 4.2% of Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund is smaller, thus better.
- During the last 3 years, the downside risk is 4.8%, which is lower, thus better than the value of 12.1% 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The Sharpe Ratio over 5 years of Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund is -0.43, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.56) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) is -0.87, which is smaller, thus worse than the value of 0.41 from the benchmark.

'The Sortino ratio improves upon the Sharpe ratio by isolating downside volatility from total volatility by dividing excess return by the downside deviation. The Sortino ratio is a variation of the Sharpe ratio that differentiates harmful volatility from total overall volatility by using the asset's standard deviation of negative asset returns, called downside deviation. The Sortino ratio takes the asset's return and subtracts the risk-free rate, and then divides that amount by the asset's downside deviation. The ratio was named after Frank A. Sortino.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The downside risk / excess return profile over 5 years of Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund is -0.61, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.79) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation is -1.21, which is smaller, thus worse than the value of 0.59 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 (9.33 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Downside risk index of 8.83 of Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund is lower, thus better.
- Looking at Ulcer Ratio in of 11 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to SPY (10 ).

'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 Total Bond Market Index Fund is -18.9 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 reduction from previous high is -18.2 days, which is larger, thus better 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the maximum days below previous high of 927 days in the last 5 years of Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (488 days)
- During the last 3 years, the maximum days below previous high is 675 days, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 488 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:- Looking at the average days below previous high of 370 days in the last 5 years of Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (123 days)
- During the last 3 years, the average days under water is 310 days, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 179 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 Vanguard Total Bond Market 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.