'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The total return, or performance over 5 years of Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index Fund is -1.5%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (63%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (33.5%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return, or increase in value of 7.1% is smaller, thus worse.

'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 -0.3% of Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index Fund is smaller, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) is 2.3%, which is smaller, thus worse than the value of 10.1% from the benchmark.

'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 19.2% in the last 5 years of Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index Fund, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (21.6%)
- Looking at volatility in of 21.6% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better 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 deviation over 5 years of Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index Fund is 14.2%, which is smaller, thus better 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 risk of 15.9% is smaller, thus better.

'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:- The ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) over 5 years of Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index Fund is -0.15, which is smaller, 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 ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of -0.01 is lower, 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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.5) in the period of the last 5 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of -0.2 of Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index Fund is lower, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (0.42) in the period of the last 3 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of -0.01 is lower, thus worse.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The Ulcer Ratio over 5 years of Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index Fund is 15 , which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (8.88 ) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the Ulcer Ratio is 16 , which is greater, thus worse than the value of 11 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The maximum reduction from previous high over 5 years of Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index Fund is -34.3 days, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (-33.7 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum DrawDown of -34.3 days is smaller, thus worse.

'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:- The maximum days below previous high over 5 years of Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index Fund is 679 days, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (273 days) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (273 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum days below previous high of 495 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 289 days, which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (57 days) in the same period.
- Looking at average time in days below previous high water mark in of 184 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to SPY (73 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.