'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:- Looking at the total return of 17.8% in the last 5 years of Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index Fund, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (78.4%)
- Compared with SPY (44.1%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return, or increase in value of 13.6% is smaller, thus worse.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (12.3%) in the period of the last 5 years, the annual return (CAGR) of 3.3% of Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index Fund is smaller, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (12.9%) in the period of the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) of 4.3% is lower, thus worse.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (19.9%) in the period of the last 5 years, the 30 days standard deviation of 18.3% of Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index Fund is smaller, thus better.
- Compared with SPY (23.1%) in the period of the last 3 years, the historical 30 days volatility of 20.7% is lower, thus better.

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (14.6%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside volatility of 13.6% of Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index Fund is lower, thus better.
- During the last 3 years, the downside deviation is 15.4%, which is lower, thus better than the value of 16.9% from the benchmark.

'The Sharpe ratio (also known as the Sharpe index, the Sharpe measure, and the reward-to-variability ratio) is a way to examine the performance of an investment by adjusting for its risk. The ratio measures the excess return (or risk premium) per unit of deviation in an investment asset or a trading strategy, typically referred to as risk, named after William F. Sharpe.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.49) in the period of the last 5 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of 0.05 of Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index Fund is smaller, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the Sharpe Ratio is 0.09, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.45 from the benchmark.

'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:- The downside risk / excess return profile over 5 years of Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index Fund is 0.06, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.67) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (0.62) in the period of the last 3 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 0.12 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The Ulcer Ratio over 5 years of Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index Fund is 13 , which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (6.16 ) in the same period.
- Looking at Ulcer Index in of 10 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to SPY (6.87 ).

'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 reduction from previous high of -36.3 days in the last 5 years of Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index Fund, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days)
- Looking at maximum drop from peak to valley in of -33.2 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus better 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). Many assume Max DD Duration is the length of time between new highs during which the Max DD (magnitude) occurred. But that isn’t always the case. The Max DD duration is the longest time between peaks, period. So it could be the time when the program also had its biggest peak to valley loss (and usually is, because the program needs a long time to recover from the largest loss), but it doesn’t have to be'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the maximum days below previous high of 706 days in the last 5 years of Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index Fund, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (139 days)
- Compared with SPY (119 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum days below previous high of 318 days is larger, thus worse.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The average time in days below previous high water mark over 5 years of Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index Fund is 256 days, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (35 days) in the same period.
- Looking at average time in days below previous high water mark in of 103 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to SPY (27 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 Emerging Markets Stock 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.