'Total return is the amount of value an investor earns from a security over a specific period, typically one year, when all distributions are reinvested. Total return is expressed as a percentage of the amount invested. For example, a total return of 20% means the security increased by 20% of its original value due to a price increase, distribution of dividends (if a stock), coupons (if a bond) or capital gains (if a fund). Total return is a strong measure of an investmentâ€™s overall performance.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (67.9%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return of 171.1% of Cisco Systems is higher, thus better.
- Looking at total return, or increase in value in of 130.2% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to SPY (46.6%).

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (10.9%) in the period of the last 5 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.1% of Cisco Systems is greater, thus better.
- Looking at annual performance (CAGR) in of 32% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to SPY (13.6%).

'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 30 days standard deviation over 5 years of Cisco Systems is 21.2%, which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (13.3%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (12.5%) in the period of the last 3 years, the 30 days standard deviation of 20.6% is greater, thus worse.

'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:- Looking at the downside risk of 22.2% in the last 5 years of Cisco Systems, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (14.6%)
- Compared with SPY (14.2%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside deviation of 22.8% is higher, thus worse.

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) over 5 years of Cisco Systems is 0.92, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (0.64) in the same period.
- Looking at risk / return profile (Sharpe) in of 1.43 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to SPY (0.89).

'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:- The downside risk / excess return profile over 5 years of Cisco Systems is 0.88, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (0.58) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (0.78) in the period of the last 3 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 1.3 is greater, thus better.

'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:- Looking at the Downside risk index of 5.92 in the last 5 years of Cisco Systems, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (3.96 )
- Compared with SPY (4.01 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Ulcer Ratio of 4.7 is greater, thus better.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The maximum reduction from previous high over 5 years of Cisco Systems is -23.1 days, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (-19.3 days) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley is -17.5 days, which is higher, thus better than the value of -19.3 days from the benchmark.

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the maximum days below previous high of 314 days in the last 5 years of Cisco Systems, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (187 days)
- Compared with SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum days under water of 116 days is lower, thus better.

'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 days under water of 65 days in the last 5 years of Cisco Systems, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (41 days)
- Compared with SPY (36 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average days under water of 29 days is smaller, thus better.

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 Cisco Systems 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.