'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the total return, or increase in value of 24.2% in the last 5 years of Vanguard Inflation Protected Securities Fund, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (120.7%)
- Compared with SPY (44%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return, or performance of 18.3% is lower, thus worse.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the annual return (CAGR) of 4.4% in the last 5 years of Vanguard Inflation Protected Securities Fund, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (17.2%)
- Compared with SPY (12.9%) in the period of the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) of 5.8% 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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (18.8%) in the period of the last 5 years, the volatility of 4.7% of Vanguard Inflation Protected Securities Fund is lower, thus better.
- Looking at volatility in of 5% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (22.8%).

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (13.6%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside risk of 3.1% of Vanguard Inflation Protected Securities Fund is smaller, thus better.
- Compared with SPY (16.7%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside deviation of 3.3% is lower, thus better.

'The Sharpe ratio was developed by Nobel laureate William F. Sharpe, and is used to help investors understand the return of an investment compared to its risk. The ratio is the average return earned in excess of the risk-free rate per unit of volatility or total risk. Subtracting the risk-free rate from the mean return allows an investor to better isolate the profits associated with risk-taking activities. One intuition of this calculation is that a portfolio engaging in 'zero risk' investments, such as the purchase of U.S. Treasury bills (for which the expected return is the risk-free rate), has a Sharpe ratio of exactly zero. Generally, the greater the value of the Sharpe ratio, the more attractive the risk-adjusted return.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the Sharpe Ratio of 0.41 in the last 5 years of Vanguard Inflation Protected Securities Fund, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.78)
- During the last 3 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) is 0.65, which is greater, thus better than the value of 0.46 from the benchmark.

'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:- Looking at the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 0.62 in the last 5 years of Vanguard Inflation Protected Securities Fund, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (1.08)
- Looking at excess return divided by the downside deviation in of 0.99 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to SPY (0.62).

'Ulcer Index is a method for measuring investment risk that addresses the real concerns of investors, unlike the widely used standard deviation of return. UI is a measure of the depth and duration of drawdowns in prices from earlier highs. Using Ulcer Index instead of standard deviation can lead to very different conclusions about investment risk and risk-adjusted return, especially when evaluating strategies that seek to avoid major declines in portfolio value (market timing, dynamic asset allocation, hedge funds, etc.). The Ulcer Index was originally developed in 1987. Since then, it has been widely recognized and adopted by the investment community. According to Nelson Freeburg, editor of Formula Research, Ulcer Index is “perhaps the most fully realized statistical portrait of risk there is.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the Ulcer Ratio of 1.97 in the last 5 years of Vanguard Inflation Protected Securities Fund, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (5.59 )
- Looking at Ulcer Index in of 1.29 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (7.15 ).

'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:- The maximum drop from peak to valley over 5 years of Vanguard Inflation Protected Securities Fund is -8.9 days, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (-33.7 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum reduction from previous high of -8.9 days is greater, thus better.

'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:- The maximum days under water over 5 years of Vanguard Inflation Protected Securities Fund is 681 days, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (139 days) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum days under water of 135 days is lower, thus better.

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (33 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark of 214 days of Vanguard Inflation Protected Securities Fund is greater, thus worse.
- Looking at average days under water in of 38 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to SPY (45 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 Inflation Protected Securities 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.