'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 investment’s overall performance.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The total return, or increase in value over 5 years of Cisco Systems is 159.2%, which is higher, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (66%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the total return is 110.6%, which is higher, thus better than the value of 45.6% from the benchmark.

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (10.7%) in the period of the last 5 years, the annual performance (CAGR) of 21% of Cisco Systems is larger, thus better.
- Compared with SPY (13.3%) in the period of the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) of 28.2% is larger, thus better.

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the volatility of 21.5% in the last 5 years of Cisco Systems, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (13.4%)
- Looking at historical 30 days volatility in of 20.8% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to SPY (12.3%).

'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 volatility of 22.5% 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 (13.8%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside risk of 22.8% is greater, thus worse.

'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:- Looking at the Sharpe Ratio of 0.86 in the last 5 years of Cisco Systems, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.61)
- Compared with SPY (0.88) in the period of the last 3 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of 1.24 is higher, thus better.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.56) in the period of the last 5 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 0.82 of Cisco Systems is greater, thus better.
- Compared with SPY (0.78) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside risk / excess return profile of 1.12 is greater, thus better.

'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:- Looking at the Ulcer Index of 5.95 in the last 5 years of Cisco Systems, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (3.99 )
- Compared with SPY (4.04 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Downside risk index of 4.75 is higher, thus worse.

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (-19.3 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum DrawDown of -23.1 days of Cisco Systems is lower, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley is -17.5 days, which is greater, 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). 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:- The maximum time in days below previous high water mark over 5 years of Cisco Systems is 314 days, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (187 days) in the same period.
- 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (41 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average days under water of 65 days of Cisco Systems is larger, thus worse.
- Looking at average time in days below previous high water mark in of 29 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (36 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 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.