'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (78.4%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return, or increase in value of 72.9% of Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund is lower, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (44.1%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return of 40.6% is smaller, thus worse.

'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 annual return (CAGR) of 11.6% in the last 5 years of Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (12.3%)
- During the last 3 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) is 12%, which is smaller, thus worse than the value of 12.9% from the benchmark.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the volatility of 20.6% in the last 5 years of Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (19.9%)
- Looking at 30 days standard deviation in of 24.1% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to SPY (23.1%).

'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 (14.6%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside volatility of 15.1% of Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund is greater, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the downside volatility is 17.7%, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 16.9% 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.49) in the period of the last 5 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of 0.44 of Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund is smaller, thus worse.
- Looking at risk / return profile (Sharpe) in of 0.39 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.45).

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The excess return divided by the downside deviation over 5 years of Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund is 0.6, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.67) in the same period.
- Looking at downside risk / excess return profile in of 0.54 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.62).

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The Ulcer Ratio over 5 years of Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund is 6.51 , which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (6.16 ) in the same period.
- Looking at Downside risk index in of 7.34 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to SPY (6.87 ).

'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 DrawDown over 5 years of Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund is -35 days, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley is -35 days, which is lower, 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) in days.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the maximum days below previous high of 145 days in the last 5 years of Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (139 days)
- Compared with SPY (119 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum days below previous high of 121 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (35 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average days under water of 35 days of Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund is larger, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark is 28 days, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 27 days from the benchmark.

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 Total Stock Market 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.