'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 9.7% in the last 5 years of Vanguard Short Term Treasury Fund, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (120.7%)
- During the last 3 years, the total return is 9.2%, which is smaller, thus worse than the value of 44% 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The annual performance (CAGR) over 5 years of Vanguard Short Term Treasury Fund is 1.9%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (17.2%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (12.9%) in the period of the last 3 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3% is lower, 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The volatility over 5 years of Vanguard Short Term Treasury Fund is 1.6%, which is smaller, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (18.8%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the volatility is 1.9%, which is lower, thus better than the value of 22.8% 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 volatility of 1% in the last 5 years of Vanguard Short Term Treasury Fund, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (13.6%)
- Compared with SPY (16.7%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside risk of 1.2% is lower, thus better.

'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:- The risk / return profile (Sharpe) over 5 years of Vanguard Short Term Treasury Fund is -0.38, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.78) in the same period.
- Looking at risk / return profile (Sharpe) in of 0.26 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.46).

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the downside risk / excess return profile of -0.6 in the last 5 years of Vanguard Short Term Treasury Fund, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (1.08)
- During the last 3 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation is 0.42, which is smaller, thus worse than the value of 0.62 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the Ulcer Index of 0.64 in the last 5 years of Vanguard Short Term Treasury Fund, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (5.59 )
- Compared with SPY (7.15 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Ulcer Index of 0.3 is lower, thus better.

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum reduction from previous high of -1.6 days of Vanguard Short Term Treasury Fund is higher, thus better.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum reduction from previous high is -1.6 days, which is greater, thus better than the value of -33.7 days from the benchmark.

'The Maximum 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. It is the length of time the account was in the Max Drawdown. A Max Drawdown measures a retrenchment from when an equity curve reaches a new high. It’s the maximum an account lost during that retrenchment. This method is applied because a valley can’t be measured until a new high occurs. Once the new high is reached, the percentage change from the old high to the bottom of the largest trough is recorded.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum days under water of 622 days of Vanguard Short Term Treasury Fund is greater, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 92 days is lower, thus better.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The average days below previous high over 5 years of Vanguard Short Term Treasury Fund is 185 days, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (33 days) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (45 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark of 21 days is smaller, thus better.

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 Short Term Treasury 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.