'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (77.1%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return of 30.3% of Vanguard Long Term Treasury Fund is lower, thus worse.
- Looking at total return, or increase in value in of 29.8% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (51.7%).

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over 5 years of Vanguard Long Term Treasury Fund is 5.4%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (12.1%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) is 9.1%, 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 30 days standard deviation over 5 years of Vanguard Long Term Treasury Fund is 11.3%, which is smaller, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (13.3%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the 30 days standard deviation is 10.1%, which is smaller, thus better than the value of 13% from the benchmark.

'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:- The downside risk over 5 years of Vanguard Long Term Treasury Fund is 8%, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (9.6%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (9.4%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside deviation of 6.9% 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The Sharpe Ratio over 5 years of Vanguard Long Term Treasury Fund is 0.26, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.72) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (0.96) in the period of the last 3 years, the Sharpe Ratio of 0.65 is lower, thus worse.

'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 0.37 in the last 5 years of Vanguard Long Term Treasury Fund, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (1)
- During the last 3 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation is 0.95, 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the Downside risk index of 9.11 in the last 5 years of Vanguard Long Term Treasury Fund, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (3.97 )
- Looking at Ulcer Index in of 4.47 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to SPY (4.1 ).

'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 -17 days in the last 5 years of Vanguard Long Term Treasury Fund, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (-19.3 days)
- During the last 3 years, the maximum reduction from previous high is -10.6 days, which is larger, thus better than the value of -19.3 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (187 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 749 days of Vanguard Long Term Treasury Fund is larger, thus worse.
- Looking at maximum time in days below previous high water mark in of 385 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (42 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark of 258 days of Vanguard Long Term Treasury Fund is larger, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (37 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark of 119 days is greater, thus worse.

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 Long Term Treasury 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.