'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the total return, or performance of 70% in the last 5 years of Vanguard Small Cap Growth Index Fund, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (77.4%)
- During the last 3 years, the total return is 50.1%, which is greater, thus better than the value of 43.3% from the benchmark.

'Compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is a business and investing specific term for the geometric progression ratio that provides a constant rate of return over the time period. CAGR is not an accounting term, but it is often used to describe some element of the business, for example revenue, units delivered, registered users, etc. CAGR dampens the effect of volatility of periodic returns that can render arithmetic means irrelevant. It is particularly useful to compare growth rates from various data sets of common domain such as revenue growth of companies in the same industry.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (12.1%) in the period of the last 5 years, the annual performance (CAGR) of 11.2% of Vanguard Small Cap Growth Index Fund is lower, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) is 14.5%, which is higher, thus better than the value of 12.7% 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (19%) in the period of the last 5 years, the historical 30 days volatility of 22.1% of Vanguard Small Cap Growth Index Fund is larger, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (22%) in the period of the last 3 years, the 30 days standard deviation of 25.2% is higher, thus worse.

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

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (13.9%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside deviation of 16.4% of Vanguard Small Cap Growth Index Fund is higher, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the downside risk is 18.8%, which is greater, thus worse than the value of 16.2% 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:- Looking at the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of 0.39 in the last 5 years of Vanguard Small Cap Growth Index Fund, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.51)
- Compared with SPY (0.46) in the period of the last 3 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of 0.48 is greater, thus better.

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.7) in the period of the last 5 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 0.53 of Vanguard Small Cap Growth Index Fund is lower, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (0.63) in the period of the last 3 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 0.64 is greater, thus better.

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (5.87 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Ulcer Ratio of 8.24 of Vanguard Small Cap Growth Index Fund is greater, thus worse.
- Looking at Ulcer Ratio in of 8.67 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to SPY (7.01 ).

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the maximum DrawDown of -38.7 days in the last 5 years of Vanguard Small Cap Growth Index Fund, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days)
- During the last 3 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley is -38.7 days, which is smaller, thus worse than the value of -33.7 days from the benchmark.

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum days under water of 250 days of Vanguard Small Cap Growth Index Fund is larger, thus worse.
- Looking at maximum days below previous high in of 208 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (37 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average days under water of 61 days of Vanguard Small Cap Growth Index Fund is higher, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the average days below previous high is 51 days, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 45 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 Small Cap Growth 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.