'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (77.6%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return, or increase in value of 87% of Cisco Systems is larger, thus better.
- Compared with SPY (53.5%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return, or performance of 61% is greater, thus better.

'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 (12.2%) in the period of the last 5 years, the annual performance (CAGR) of 13.3% of Cisco Systems is higher, thus better.
- During the last 3 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) is 17.2%, which is larger, thus better than the value of 15.4% from the benchmark.

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (13.3%) in the period of the last 5 years, the historical 30 days volatility of 22.2% of Cisco Systems is larger, thus worse.
- Looking at historical 30 days volatility in of 23.1% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to SPY (13%).

'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:- The downside risk over 5 years of Cisco Systems is 15.9%, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (9.6%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (9.4%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside deviation of 16.9% is larger, 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) over 5 years of Cisco Systems is 0.49, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.73) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) is 0.64, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.99 from the benchmark.

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (1.01) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside risk / excess return profile of 0.68 of Cisco Systems is smaller, thus worse.
- Looking at excess return divided by the downside deviation in of 0.87 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (1.37).

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the Downside risk index of 8.17 in the last 5 years of Cisco Systems, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (3.97 )
- During the last 3 years, the Ulcer Ratio is 8.76 , which is larger, thus worse than the value of 4.1 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The maximum reduction from previous high over 5 years of Cisco Systems is -24.5 days, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (-19.3 days) in the same period.
- Looking at maximum drop from peak to valley in of -24.5 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, 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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (187 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum days under water of 314 days of Cisco Systems is greater, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum days below previous high is 149 days, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 139 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the average days under water of 70 days in the last 5 years of Cisco Systems, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (42 days)
- During the last 3 years, the average days below previous high is 41 days, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 37 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 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.