'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 (88%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return, or increase in value of 311.5% of Intuitive Surgical is greater, thus better.
- During the last 3 years, the total return, or increase in value is 95.9%, which is larger, thus better than the value of 39.5% from the benchmark.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The annual performance (CAGR) over 5 years of Intuitive Surgical is 32.7%, which is higher, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (13.5%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the annual performance (CAGR) is 25.1%, which is higher, thus better than the value of 11.7% 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:- The 30 days standard deviation over 5 years of Intuitive Surgical is 30.6%, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (18.8%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (22.3%) in the period of the last 3 years, the 30 days standard deviation of 35.9% is higher, thus worse.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the downside deviation of 21% in the last 5 years of Intuitive Surgical, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (13.7%)
- During the last 3 years, the downside deviation is 24.8%, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 16.5% 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the Sharpe Ratio of 0.99 in the last 5 years of Intuitive Surgical, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.58)
- Compared with SPY (0.41) in the period of the last 3 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of 0.63 is greater, thus better.

'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 (0.8) in the period of the last 5 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 1.44 of Intuitive Surgical is greater, thus better.
- During the last 3 years, the downside risk / excess return profile is 0.91, which is greater, thus better than the value of 0.56 from the benchmark.

'Ulcer Index is a method for measuring investment risk that addresses the real concerns of investors, unlike the widely used standard deviation of return. UI is a measure of the depth and duration of drawdowns in prices from earlier highs. Using Ulcer Index instead of standard deviation can lead to very different conclusions about investment risk and risk-adjusted return, especially when evaluating strategies that seek to avoid major declines in portfolio value (market timing, dynamic asset allocation, hedge funds, etc.). The Ulcer Index was originally developed in 1987. Since then, it has been widely recognized and adopted by the investment community. According to Nelson Freeburg, editor of Formula Research, Ulcer Index is “perhaps the most fully realized statistical portrait of risk there is.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The Ulcer Index over 5 years of Intuitive Surgical is 8.06 , which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (5.79 ) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (7.08 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Downside risk index of 9.76 is larger, thus worse.

'A maximum drawdown is the maximum loss from a peak to a trough of a portfolio, before a new peak is attained. Maximum Drawdown is an indicator of downside risk over a specified time period. It can be used both as a stand-alone measure or as an input into other metrics such as 'Return over Maximum Drawdown' and the Calmar Ratio. Maximum Drawdown is expressed in percentage terms.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley of -40.5 days of Intuitive Surgical is smaller, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (-33.7 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum reduction from previous high of -40.5 days is lower, thus worse.

'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 Intuitive Surgical is 159 days, which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (139 days) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark is 159 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:- The average time in days below previous high water mark over 5 years of Intuitive Surgical is 33 days, which is smaller, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (37 days) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (45 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average days below previous high of 42 days is lower, thus better.

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.
[Show Details]

- Note that yearly returns do not equal the sum of monthly returns due to compounding.
- Performance results of Intuitive Surgical 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.