'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (68.2%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return of -22.7% of Alexion Pharmaceuticals is smaller, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (47.7%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return of 4.5% 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (11%) in the period of the last 5 years, the annual performance (CAGR) of -5% of Alexion Pharmaceuticals is lower, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (13.9%) in the period of the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) of 1.5% is lower, thus worse.

'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 volatility over 5 years of Alexion Pharmaceuticals is 37.2%, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (13.2%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (12.4%) in the period of the last 3 years, the volatility of 37.5% is larger, thus worse.

'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:- Looking at the downside risk of 37% in the last 5 years of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (14.6%)
- Looking at downside risk in of 38.3% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to SPY (14%).

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.64) in the period of the last 5 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of -0.2 of Alexion Pharmaceuticals is lower, thus worse.
- Looking at risk / return profile (Sharpe) in of -0.03 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.92).

'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:- The ratio of annual return and downside deviation over 5 years of Alexion Pharmaceuticals is -0.2, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.58) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (0.81) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside risk / excess return profile of -0.03 is lower, thus worse.

'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:- Looking at the Ulcer Index of 32 in the last 5 years of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (3.95 )
- Looking at Ulcer Index in of 23 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to SPY (4 ).

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (-19.3 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum reduction from previous high of -54.8 days of Alexion Pharmaceuticals is lower, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley is -41.8 days, which is lower, thus worse than the value of -19.3 days from the benchmark.

'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:- The maximum time in days below previous high water mark over 5 years of Alexion Pharmaceuticals is 921 days, which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (187 days) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum days below previous high is 733 days, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 131 days from the benchmark.

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The average days under water over 5 years of Alexion Pharmaceuticals is 358 days, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (39 days) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (33 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark of 360 days is greater, thus worse.

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.
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- "Year" returns in the table above are not equal to 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.