'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:- Looking at the total return, or performance of 0.9% in the last 5 years of Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (60.6%)
- Looking at total return, or performance in of -14.8% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (38%).

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The annual return (CAGR) over 5 years of Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund is 0.2%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (10%) in the same period.
- Looking at annual return (CAGR) in of -5.2% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (11.3%).

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (21.5%) in the period of the last 5 years, the volatility of 5.5% of Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund is smaller, thus better.
- Compared with SPY (17.9%) in the period of the last 3 years, the volatility of 6.1% is lower, thus better.

'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 3.9% in the last 5 years of Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (15.5%)
- Looking at downside risk in of 4.5% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (12.5%).

'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 Total Bond Market Index Fund is -0.42, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.35) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (0.49) in the period of the last 3 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of -1.26 is smaller, thus worse.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the downside risk / excess return profile of -0.59 in the last 5 years of Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.48)
- Looking at ratio of annual return and downside deviation in of -1.72 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.71).

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (9.55 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Downside risk index of 7.63 of Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund is lower, thus better.
- During the last 3 years, the Ulcer Ratio is 9.47 , which is smaller, thus better than the value of 10 from the benchmark.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley of -18.9 days of Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund is greater, thus better.
- Compared with SPY (-24.5 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley of -18.5 days is greater, 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) in days.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The maximum days below previous high over 5 years of Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund is 788 days, which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (431 days) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum days under water is 683 days, which is greater, thus worse than the value of 431 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:- The average days under water over 5 years of Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund is 278 days, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (105 days) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (144 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark of 314 days is larger, 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 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.