'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 investmentâ€™s overall performance.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The total return, or performance over 5 years of Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund is 19.7%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (60.7%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the total return is -1.8%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 29.5% 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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (10%) in the period of the last 5 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.7% of Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund is lower, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) is -0.6%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 9% 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 30 days standard deviation of 23.9% in the last 5 years of Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (20.8%)
- During the last 3 years, the volatility is 28.6%, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 24% from the benchmark.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the downside deviation of 17.9% in the last 5 years of Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (15.3%)
- During the last 3 years, the downside volatility is 21.5%, which is greater, thus worse than the value of 17.6% 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 ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) over 5 years of Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund is 0.05, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.36) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (0.27) in the period of the last 3 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of -0.11 is lower, thus worse.

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.49) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside risk / excess return profile of 0.06 of Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund is lower, thus worse.
- Looking at excess return divided by the downside deviation in of -0.14 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.37).

'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:- The Ulcer Ratio over 5 years of Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund is 11 , which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (7.52 ) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (8.81 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Ulcer Index of 13 is greater, thus worse.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley of -42.3 days of Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund is lower, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (-33.7 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum DrawDown of -42.3 days is lower, 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) in days.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The maximum days under water over 5 years of Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund is 292 days, which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (182 days) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark is 292 days, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 182 days from the benchmark.

'The Average 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. 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The average time in days below previous high water mark over 5 years of Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund is 67 days, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (45 days) in the same period.
- Looking at average days under water in of 89 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to SPY (43 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 Real Estate 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.