'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the total return, or performance of 35% in the last 5 years of Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (116.9%)
- Compared with SPY (63.4%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return of 19.8% is smaller, 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The annual return (CAGR) over 5 years of Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund is 6.2%, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (16.8%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (17.8%) in the period of the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) of 6.2% is lower, thus worse.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The historical 30 days volatility over 5 years of Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund is 5.6%, which is smaller, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (18.7%) in the same period.
- Looking at historical 30 days volatility in of 6.7% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to SPY (22.5%).

'Downside risk is the financial risk associated with losses. That is, it is the risk of the actual return being below the expected return, or the uncertainty about the magnitude of that difference. 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The downside volatility over 5 years of Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund is 4.2%, which is smaller, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (13.6%) in the same period.
- Looking at downside deviation in of 5.1% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (16.3%).

'The Sharpe ratio is the measure of risk-adjusted return of a financial portfolio. Sharpe ratio is a measure of excess portfolio return over the risk-free rate relative to its standard deviation. Normally, the 90-day Treasury bill rate is taken as the proxy for risk-free rate. A portfolio with a higher Sharpe ratio is considered superior relative to its peers. The measure was named after William F Sharpe, a Nobel laureate and professor of finance, emeritus at Stanford University.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.76) in the period of the last 5 years, the Sharpe Ratio of 0.65 of Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund is smaller, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (0.68) in the period of the last 3 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of 0.55 is smaller, thus worse.

'The Sortino ratio improves upon the Sharpe ratio by isolating downside volatility from total volatility by dividing excess return by the downside deviation. The Sortino ratio is a variation of the Sharpe ratio that differentiates harmful volatility from total overall volatility by using the asset's standard deviation of negative asset returns, called downside deviation. The Sortino ratio takes the asset's return and subtracts the risk-free rate, and then divides that amount by the asset's downside deviation. The ratio was named after Frank A. Sortino.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (1.05) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside risk / excess return profile of 0.88 of Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund is lower, thus worse.
- Looking at downside risk / excess return profile in of 0.73 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.94).

'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 (5.58 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Ulcer Index of 2.5 of Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund is smaller, thus better.
- Compared with SPY (6.83 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Downside risk index of 3.11 is lower, thus better.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The maximum reduction from previous high over 5 years of Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund is -19.7 days, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (-33.7 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum DrawDown of -19.7 days is greater, thus better.

'The Maximum Drawdown Duration is an extension of the Maximum Drawdown. However, this metric does not explain the drawdown in dollars or percentages, rather in days, weeks, or months. It is the length of time the account was in the Max Drawdown. A Max Drawdown measures a retrenchment from when an equity curve reaches a new high. It’s the maximum an account lost during that retrenchment. This method is applied because a valley can’t be measured until a new high occurs. Once the new high is reached, the percentage change from the old high to the bottom of the largest trough is recorded.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 145 days of Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund is higher, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum days under water is 113 days, which is lower, thus better than the value of 139 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (33 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark of 29 days of Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund is lower, thus better.
- Compared with SPY (35 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark of 24 days is lower, thus better.

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 High Yield Corporate 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.