'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 increase in value over 5 years of Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund is 45%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (77.1%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the total return, or performance is 33.3%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 51.7% 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.7% in the last 5 years of Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (12.1%)
- Looking at annual performance (CAGR) in of 10.1% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (14.9%).

'Volatility is a statistical measure of the dispersion of returns for a given security or market index. Volatility can either be measured by using the standard deviation or variance between returns from that same security or market index. Commonly, the higher the volatility, the riskier the security. In the securities markets, volatility is often associated with big swings in either direction. For example, when the stock market rises and falls more than one percent over a sustained period of time, it is called a 'volatile' market.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (13.3%) in the period of the last 5 years, the historical 30 days volatility of 14.7% of Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund is larger, thus worse.
- Looking at 30 days standard deviation in of 13.1% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to SPY (13%).

'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:- The downside risk over 5 years of Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund is 10.7%, which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (9.6%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (9.4%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside volatility of 9.5% is greater, thus worse.

'The Sharpe ratio is the measure of risk-adjusted return of a financial portfolio. Sharpe ratio is a measure of excess portfolio return over the risk-free rate relative to its standard deviation. Normally, the 90-day Treasury bill rate is taken as the proxy for risk-free rate. A portfolio with a higher Sharpe ratio is considered superior relative to its peers. The measure was named after William F Sharpe, a Nobel laureate and professor of finance, emeritus at Stanford University.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.72) in the period of the last 5 years, the Sharpe Ratio of 0.36 of Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund is lower, thus worse.
- Looking at ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) in of 0.58 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.96).

'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 (1) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside risk / excess return profile of 0.49 of Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund is smaller, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (1.32) in the period of the last 3 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 0.8 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The Downside risk index over 5 years of Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund is 6.85 , which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (3.97 ) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (4.1 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Ulcer Index of 4.41 is larger, thus worse.

'Maximum drawdown is defined as the peak-to-trough decline of an investment during a specific period. It is usually quoted as a percentage of the peak value. The maximum drawdown can be calculated based on absolute returns, in order to identify strategies that suffer less during market downturns, such as low-volatility strategies. However, the maximum drawdown can also be calculated based on returns relative to a benchmark index, for identifying strategies that show steady outperformance over time.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The maximum reduction from previous high over 5 years of Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund is -16.6 days, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (-19.3 days) in the same period.
- Looking at maximum DrawDown in of -14.3 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to SPY (-19.3 days).

'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:- Looking at the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 628 days in the last 5 years of Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (187 days)
- Looking at maximum days below previous high in of 136 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (139 days).

'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:- Looking at the average time in days below previous high water mark of 197 days in the last 5 years of Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (42 days)
- Compared with SPY (37 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark of 32 days is lower, thus better.

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.
[Show Details]

- 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.