'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, or performance over 5 years of Vanguard Inflation Protected Securities Fund is 13%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (77.1%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (51.7%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return, or increase in value of 10.6% 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (12.1%) in the period of the last 5 years, the annual return (CAGR) of 2.5% of Vanguard Inflation Protected Securities Fund is smaller, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) is 3.4%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 14.9% 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The volatility over 5 years of Vanguard Inflation Protected Securities Fund is 4.1%, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (13.3%) in the same period.
- Looking at volatility in of 3.5% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (13%).

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (9.6%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside risk of 2.9% of Vanguard Inflation Protected Securities Fund is lower, thus better.
- During the last 3 years, the downside risk is 2.3%, which is smaller, thus better than the value of 9.4% from the benchmark.

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) over 5 years of Vanguard Inflation Protected Securities Fund is -0.01, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.72) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the Sharpe Ratio is 0.26, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.96 from the benchmark.

'The Sortino ratio measures the risk-adjusted return of an investment asset, portfolio, or strategy. It is a modification of the Sharpe ratio but penalizes only those returns falling below a user-specified target or required rate of return, while the Sharpe ratio penalizes both upside and downside volatility equally. Though both ratios measure an investment's risk-adjusted return, they do so in significantly different ways that will frequently lead to differing conclusions as to the true nature of the investment's return-generating efficiency. The Sortino ratio is used as a way to compare the risk-adjusted performance of programs with differing risk and return profiles. In general, risk-adjusted returns seek to normalize the risk across programs and then see which has the higher return unit per risk.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The excess return divided by the downside deviation over 5 years of Vanguard Inflation Protected Securities Fund is -0.01, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (1) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the downside risk / excess return profile is 0.39, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 1.32 from the benchmark.

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (3.97 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Ulcer Index of 2.34 of Vanguard Inflation Protected Securities Fund is lower, thus better.
- Compared with SPY (4.1 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Ulcer Ratio of 1.26 is lower, thus better.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (-19.3 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley of -5 days of Vanguard Inflation Protected Securities Fund is higher, thus better.
- Looking at maximum reduction from previous high in of -3.2 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 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). Many assume Max DD Duration is the length of time between new highs during which the Max DD (magnitude) occurred. But that isn’t always the case. The Max DD duration is the longest time between peaks, period. So it could be the time when the program also had its biggest peak to valley loss (and usually is, because the program needs a long time to recover from the largest loss), but it doesn’t have to be'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the maximum days below previous high of 681 days in the last 5 years of Vanguard Inflation Protected Securities Fund, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (187 days)
- Compared with SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 206 days is higher, 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the average time in days below previous high water mark of 224 days in the last 5 years of Vanguard Inflation Protected Securities Fund, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (42 days)
- During the last 3 years, the average days below previous high is 60 days, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 37 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 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.