'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The total return over 5 years of Vanguard Short Term Investment Grade Fund is 7.2%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (63%) in the same period.
- Looking at total return in of -0.8% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (33.5%).

'Compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is a business and investing specific term for the geometric progression ratio that provides a constant rate of return over the time period. CAGR is not an accounting term, but it is often used to describe some element of the business, for example revenue, units delivered, registered users, etc. CAGR dampens the effect of volatility of periodic returns that can render arithmetic means irrelevant. It is particularly useful to compare growth rates from various data sets of common domain such as revenue growth of companies in the same industry.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over 5 years of Vanguard Short Term Investment Grade Fund is 1.4%, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (10.3%) in the same period.
- Looking at annual performance (CAGR) in of -0.3% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (10.1%).

'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 30 days standard deviation over 5 years of Vanguard Short Term Investment Grade Fund is 2.4%, which is smaller, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (21.6%) in the same period.
- Looking at historical 30 days volatility in of 2.9% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (25.1%).

'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 Short Term Investment Grade Fund is 1.7%, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (15.6%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the downside volatility is 2.1%, which is lower, thus better than the value of 18.1% 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The Sharpe Ratio over 5 years of Vanguard Short Term Investment Grade Fund is -0.45, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.36) in the same period.
- Looking at risk / return profile (Sharpe) in of -0.96 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.3).

'The Sortino ratio, a variation of the Sharpe ratio only factors in the downside, or negative volatility, rather than the total volatility used in calculating the Sharpe ratio. The theory behind the Sortino variation is that upside volatility is a plus for the investment, and it, therefore, should not be included in the risk calculation. Therefore, the Sortino ratio takes upside volatility out of the equation and uses only the downside standard deviation in its calculation instead of the total standard deviation that is used in calculating the Sharpe ratio.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of -0.63 in the last 5 years of Vanguard Short Term Investment Grade Fund, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.5)
- During the last 3 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation is -1.31, which is smaller, thus worse than the value of 0.42 from the benchmark.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the Ulcer Ratio of 2.93 in the last 5 years of Vanguard Short Term Investment Grade Fund, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (8.88 )
- Compared with SPY (11 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Ulcer Ratio of 3.77 is smaller, 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum reduction from previous high of -9.4 days of Vanguard Short Term Investment Grade Fund is larger, thus better.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum reduction from previous high is -9.4 days, which is larger, 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (273 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum days under water of 377 days of Vanguard Short Term Investment Grade Fund is higher, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (273 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum days under water of 377 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The average days under water over 5 years of Vanguard Short Term Investment Grade Fund is 85 days, which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (57 days) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (73 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average days under water of 118 days is greater, 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 Short Term Investment Grade 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.