'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:- The total return, or increase in value over 5 years of Alexion Pharmaceuticals is 43.4%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (122.7%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the total return is 35%, which is smaller, thus worse than the value of 65.3% from the benchmark.

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (17.4%) in the period of the last 5 years, the annual performance (CAGR) of 7.5% of Alexion Pharmaceuticals is lower, thus worse.
- Looking at annual return (CAGR) in of 10.5% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (18.2%).

'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:- The historical 30 days volatility over 5 years of Alexion Pharmaceuticals is 38.3%, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (18.7%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the 30 days standard deviation is 39%, which is greater, thus worse than the value of 22.5% from the benchmark.

'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 (13.6%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside risk of 25.2% of Alexion Pharmaceuticals is greater, thus worse.
- Looking at downside deviation in of 24.9% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to SPY (16.3%).

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of 0.13 in the last 5 years of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.8)
- Looking at Sharpe Ratio in of 0.21 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.7).

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (1.1) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside risk / excess return profile of 0.2 of Alexion Pharmaceuticals is lower, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the downside risk / excess return profile is 0.32, which is smaller, thus worse than the value of 0.96 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (5.58 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Ulcer Index of 19 of Alexion Pharmaceuticals is larger, thus worse.
- Looking at Downside risk index in of 19 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to SPY (6.83 ).

'A maximum drawdown is the maximum loss from a peak to a trough of a portfolio, before a new peak is attained. Maximum Drawdown is an indicator of downside risk over a specified time period. It can be used both as a stand-alone measure or as an input into other metrics such as 'Return over Maximum Drawdown' and the Calmar Ratio. Maximum Drawdown is expressed in percentage terms.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The maximum DrawDown over 5 years of Alexion Pharmaceuticals is -48.5 days, which is smaller, thus worse 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 reduction from previous high of -46.5 days is lower, thus worse.

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The maximum days under water over 5 years of Alexion Pharmaceuticals is 816 days, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (139 days) in the same period.
- Looking at maximum time in days below previous high water mark in of 423 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, 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 (33 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark of 292 days of Alexion Pharmaceuticals is larger, thus worse.
- Looking at average days under water in of 140 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to SPY (35 days).

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 Alexion Pharmaceuticals 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.