'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 Costco Wholesale is 140.6%, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (68.2%) in the same period.
- Looking at total return in of 68.3% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to SPY (47.7%).

'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 19.2% of Costco Wholesale is larger, thus better.
- Looking at annual return (CAGR) in of 18.9% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to SPY (13.9%).

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The historical 30 days volatility over 5 years of Costco Wholesale is 18.4%, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (13.2%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the 30 days standard deviation is 19.5%, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 12.4% from the benchmark.

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

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (14.6%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside deviation of 19.8% of Costco Wholesale is greater, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the downside volatility is 21.7%, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 14% from the benchmark.

'The Sharpe ratio was developed by Nobel laureate William F. Sharpe, and is used to help investors understand the return of an investment compared to its risk. The ratio is the average return earned in excess of the risk-free rate per unit of volatility or total risk. Subtracting the risk-free rate from the mean return allows an investor to better isolate the profits associated with risk-taking activities. One intuition of this calculation is that a portfolio engaging in 'zero risk' investments, such as the purchase of U.S. Treasury bills (for which the expected return is the risk-free rate), has a Sharpe ratio of exactly zero. Generally, the greater the value of the Sharpe ratio, the more attractive the risk-adjusted return.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.64) in the period of the last 5 years, the Sharpe Ratio of 0.91 of Costco Wholesale is greater, thus better.
- Compared with SPY (0.92) in the period of the last 3 years, the Sharpe Ratio of 0.84 is lower, thus worse.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The ratio of annual return and downside deviation over 5 years of Costco Wholesale is 0.84, which is higher, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (0.58) in the same period.
- Looking at ratio of annual return and downside deviation in of 0.76 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.81).

'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 (3.95 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Ulcer Ratio of 7.1 of Costco Wholesale is larger, thus better.
- During the last 3 years, the Ulcer Ratio is 7.71 , which is greater, thus better than the value of 4 from the benchmark.

'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:- Looking at the maximum drop from peak to valley of -22 days in the last 5 years of Costco Wholesale, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (-19.3 days)
- Looking at maximum reduction from previous high in of -22 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (-19.3 days).

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The maximum time in days below previous high water mark over 5 years of Costco Wholesale is 152 days, which is smaller, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (187 days) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum days below previous high is 131 days, which is greater, thus worse than the value of 131 days from the benchmark.

'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:- Looking at the average time in days below previous high water mark of 45 days in the last 5 years of Costco Wholesale, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (39 days)
- Looking at average days below previous high in of 44 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to SPY (33 days).

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 Costco Wholesale 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.