'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:- The total return, or performance over 5 years of Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund is 14.1%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (46.1%) in the same period.
- Looking at total return, or performance in of 3.9% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (23.5%).

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The annual performance (CAGR) over 5 years of Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund is 2.7%, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (7.9%) in the same period.
- Looking at annual performance (CAGR) in of 1.3% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (7.3%).

'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 30 days standard deviation of 5.6% in the last 5 years of Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (18.3%)
- Compared with SPY (20.8%) in the period of the last 3 years, the historical 30 days volatility of 6.2% is lower, thus better.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the downside deviation of 4.3% in the last 5 years of Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (13.4%)
- Compared with SPY (15.4%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside risk of 5% is smaller, thus better.

'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:- Looking at the Sharpe Ratio of 0.03 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 (0.29)
- During the last 3 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) is -0.19, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.23 from the benchmark.

'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:- The excess return divided by the downside deviation over 5 years of Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund is 0.04, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.4) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the downside risk / excess return profile is -0.24, which is smaller, thus worse than the value of 0.31 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The Downside risk index over 5 years of Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund is 2.6 , which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (5.27 ) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (6.08 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Ulcer Index of 2.66 is smaller, 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the maximum DrawDown of -20 days in the last 5 years of Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days)
- During the last 3 years, the maximum reduction from previous high is -20 days, which is larger, thus better 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'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 230 days in the last 5 years of Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (187 days)
- Compared with SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 145 days is greater, thus worse.

'The Average 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. 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:- Looking at the average days under water of 48 days in the last 5 years of Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (42 days)
- Compared with SPY (36 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average days below previous high of 32 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.