'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:- The total return, or increase in value over 5 years of Fastenal is 154.3%, which is higher, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (120.8%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (66.3%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return of 120.2% is larger, thus better.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (17.2%) in the period of the last 5 years, the annual return (CAGR) of 20.5% of Fastenal is larger, thus better.
- During the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) is 30%, which is greater, thus better than the value of 18.5% 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (18.7%) in the period of the last 5 years, the 30 days standard deviation of 29% of Fastenal is greater, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the volatility is 32%, which is greater, thus worse than the value of 22.4% from the benchmark.

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The downside deviation over 5 years of Fastenal is 19.2%, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (13.6%) in the same period.
- Looking at downside risk in of 20.5% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to SPY (16.3%).

'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 Fastenal is 0.62, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.78) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the Sharpe Ratio is 0.86, which is greater, thus better than the value of 0.71 from the benchmark.

'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:- Looking at the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 0.94 in the last 5 years of Fastenal, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (1.08)
- Compared with SPY (0.98) in the period of the last 3 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 1.34 is higher, 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the Ulcer Ratio of 9.18 in the last 5 years of Fastenal, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (5.59 )
- Compared with SPY (6.83 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Downside risk index of 8.02 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the maximum reduction from previous high of -27.8 days in the last 5 years of Fastenal, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days)
- Looking at maximum drop from peak to valley in of -27.8 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to SPY (-33.7 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 186 days of Fastenal is greater, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum days under water is 118 days, which is smaller, thus better 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the average days below previous high of 47 days in the last 5 years of Fastenal, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (33 days)
- Looking at average days below previous high in of 30 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (35 days).

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 Fastenal 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.