'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:- The total return, or increase in value over 5 years of Alexion Pharmaceuticals is -29.4%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (83.6%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (36.9%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return of -21.3% is lower, thus worse.

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (12.9%) in the period of the last 5 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of -6.7% of Alexion Pharmaceuticals is smaller, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) is -7.7%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 11.1% from the benchmark.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (18.8%) in the period of the last 5 years, the historical 30 days volatility of 38.8% of Alexion Pharmaceuticals is higher, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the historical 30 days volatility is 38.4%, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 22.4% from the benchmark.

'The downside volatility is similar to the volatility, or standard deviation, but only takes losing/negative periods into account.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the downside volatility of 27.5% in the last 5 years of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (13.7%)
- Looking at downside risk in of 26.8% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to SPY (16.5%).

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) over 5 years of Alexion Pharmaceuticals is -0.24, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.55) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) is -0.26, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.38 from the benchmark.

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The excess return divided by the downside deviation over 5 years of Alexion Pharmaceuticals is -0.34, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.76) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (0.52) in the period of the last 3 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of -0.38 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The Downside risk index over 5 years of Alexion Pharmaceuticals is 36 , which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (5.78 ) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the Ulcer Ratio is 21 , which is higher, thus worse than the value of 7.07 from the benchmark.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The maximum reduction from previous high over 5 years of Alexion Pharmaceuticals is -60.6 days, which is lower, 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 -47.5 days is smaller, thus worse.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The maximum days below previous high over 5 years of Alexion Pharmaceuticals is 1192 days, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (139 days) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 754 days is larger, thus worse.

'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 (37 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average days below previous high of 570 days of Alexion Pharmaceuticals is larger, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the average days under water is 378 days, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 45 days from the benchmark.

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.