'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 performance over 5 years of Amazon.com is 96.8%, which is higher, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (88.1%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (26.1%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return, or increase in value of 7.9% is lower, thus worse.

'The compound annual growth rate isn't a true return rate, but rather a representational figure. It is essentially a number that describes the rate at which an investment would have grown if it had grown the same rate every year and the profits were reinvested at the end of each year. In reality, this sort of performance is unlikely. However, CAGR can be used to smooth returns so that they may be more easily understood when compared to alternative investments.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The annual return (CAGR) over 5 years of Amazon.com is 14.5%, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (13.5%) in the same period.
- Looking at annual return (CAGR) in of 2.6% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (8.1%).

'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 (20.9%) in the period of the last 5 years, the historical 30 days volatility of 35.1% of Amazon.com is larger, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the 30 days standard deviation is 37.3%, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 17.3% from the benchmark.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The downside deviation over 5 years of Amazon.com is 23.9%, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (15%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the downside deviation is 25.9%, which is greater, thus worse than the value of 12.1% from the benchmark.

'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 (0.52) in the period of the last 5 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of 0.34 of Amazon.com is lower, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (0.32) in the period of the last 3 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of 0 is lower, thus worse.

'The Sortino ratio, a variation of the Sharpe ratio only factors in the downside, or negative volatility, rather than the total volatility used in calculating the Sharpe ratio. The theory behind the Sortino variation is that upside volatility is a plus for the investment, and it, therefore, should not be included in the risk calculation. Therefore, the Sortino ratio takes upside volatility out of the equation and uses only the downside standard deviation in its calculation instead of the total standard deviation that is used in calculating the Sharpe ratio.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.73) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside risk / excess return profile of 0.5 of Amazon.com is lower, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (0.46) in the period of the last 3 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 0 is lower, thus worse.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (9.33 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Ulcer Index of 24 of Amazon.com is larger, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (10 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Downside risk index of 29 is higher, thus worse.

'Maximum drawdown is defined as the peak-to-trough decline of an investment during a specific period. It is usually quoted as a percentage of the peak value. The maximum drawdown can be calculated based on absolute returns, in order to identify strategies that suffer less during market downturns, such as low-volatility strategies. However, the maximum drawdown can also be calculated based on returns relative to a benchmark index, for identifying strategies that show steady outperformance over time.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley of -56.1 days of Amazon.com is lower, thus worse.
- Looking at maximum DrawDown in of -56.1 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (-24.5 days).

'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'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (488 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum days under water of 693 days of Amazon.com is higher, thus worse.
- Looking at maximum time in days below previous high water mark in of 693 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to SPY (488 days).

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (123 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark of 226 days of Amazon.com is higher, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the average days under water is 324 days, which is greater, thus worse than the value of 179 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 Amazon.com 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.