'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (121.2%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return, or increase in value of 14.5% of Vanguard Short Term Investment Grade Fund is lower, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the total return, or increase in value is 12.3%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 67.5% from the benchmark.

'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:- Looking at the annual return (CAGR) of 2.8% 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 (17.2%)
- During the last 3 years, the annual performance (CAGR) is 3.9%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 18.7% from the benchmark.

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the historical 30 days volatility of 1.9% 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 (18.7%)
- Compared with SPY (22.5%) in the period of the last 3 years, the volatility of 2.1% is smaller, thus better.

'The downside volatility is similar to the volatility, or standard deviation, but only takes losing/negative periods into account.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (13.6%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside volatility of 1.3% of Vanguard Short Term Investment Grade Fund is smaller, thus better.
- During the last 3 years, the downside risk is 1.4%, which is smaller, thus better than the value of 16.3% 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The Sharpe Ratio over 5 years of Vanguard Short Term Investment Grade Fund is 0.14, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.79) in the same period.
- Looking at ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) in of 0.68 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.72).

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The ratio of annual return and downside deviation over 5 years of Vanguard Short Term Investment Grade Fund is 0.2, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (1.08) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (1) in the period of the last 3 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 0.99 is lower, thus worse.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the Ulcer Index of 0.77 in the last 5 years of Vanguard Short Term Investment Grade Fund, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (5.59 )
- During the last 3 years, the Downside risk index is 0.79 , which is lower, thus better than the value of 6.83 from the benchmark.

'A maximum drawdown is the maximum loss from a peak to a trough of a portfolio, before a new peak is attained. Maximum Drawdown is an indicator of downside risk over a specified time period. It can be used both as a stand-alone measure or as an input into other metrics such as 'Return over Maximum Drawdown' and the Calmar Ratio. Maximum Drawdown is expressed in percentage terms.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the maximum DrawDown of -6.1 days in the last 5 years of Vanguard Short Term Investment Grade Fund, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days)
- During the last 3 years, the maximum DrawDown is -6.1 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 323 days of Vanguard Short Term Investment Grade Fund is greater, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum days below previous high is 72 days, which is lower, thus better than the value of 139 days from the benchmark.

'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 days below previous high over 5 years of Vanguard Short Term Investment Grade Fund is 69 days, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (33 days) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark is 17 days, which is lower, thus better than the value of 35 days from the benchmark.

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.