'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the total return, or increase in value of 57.5% 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 (62.7%)
- During the last 3 years, the total return is 32.6%, which is smaller, thus worse than the value of 34.7% 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:- The compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over 5 years of Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund is 9.5%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (10.2%) in the same period.
- Looking at annual performance (CAGR) in of 9.9% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (10.5%).

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the volatility of 21.6% 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 (20.9%)
- Looking at volatility in of 25.1% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to SPY (24.1%).

'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 (15.3%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside deviation of 15.8% of Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund is greater, thus worse.
- Looking at downside risk in of 18.4% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to SPY (17.6%).

'The Sharpe ratio (also known as the Sharpe index, the Sharpe measure, and the reward-to-variability ratio) is a way to examine the performance of an investment by adjusting for its risk. The ratio measures the excess return (or risk premium) per unit of deviation in an investment asset or a trading strategy, typically referred to as risk, named after William F. Sharpe.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) over 5 years of Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund is 0.33, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.37) in the same period.
- Looking at risk / return profile (Sharpe) in of 0.29 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.33).

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 0.44 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 (0.51)
- During the last 3 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation is 0.4, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.45 from the benchmark.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The Ulcer Index over 5 years of Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund is 8.19 , which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (7.71 ) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the Ulcer Ratio is 9.72 , which is higher, thus worse than the value of 9.08 from the benchmark.

'Maximum drawdown measures the loss in any losing period during a fund’s investment record. It is defined as the percent retrenchment from a fund’s peak value to the fund’s valley value. The drawdown is in effect from the time the fund’s retrenchment begins until a new fund high is reached. The maximum drawdown encompasses both the period from the fund’s peak to the fund’s valley (length), and the time from the fund’s valley to a new fund high (recovery). It measures the largest percentage drawdown that has occurred in any fund’s data record.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the maximum drop from peak to valley of -35 days 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 (-33.7 days)
- Compared with SPY (-33.7 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley of -35 days is lower, thus worse.

'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'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The maximum days below previous high over 5 years of Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund is 189 days, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (189 days) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark is 189 days, which is greater, thus worse than the value of 189 days from the benchmark.

'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:- The average days under water over 5 years of Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund is 46 days, which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (46 days) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark is 46 days, which is greater, thus worse than the value of 45 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.