'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 3M Company is 35.6%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (66%) in the same period.
- Looking at total return in of 3% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (45.6%).

'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:- The annual performance (CAGR) over 5 years of 3M Company is 6.3%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (10.7%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (13.3%) in the period of the last 3 years, the annual performance (CAGR) of 1% is lower, thus worse.

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The 30 days standard deviation over 5 years of 3M Company is 18.9%, which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (13.4%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the 30 days standard deviation is 19.8%, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 12.3% from the benchmark.

'The downside volatility is similar to the volatility, or standard deviation, but only takes losing/negative periods into account.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The downside risk over 5 years of 3M Company is 21.2%, which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (14.6%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (13.8%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside volatility of 23.1% is greater, thus worse.

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.61) in the period of the last 5 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of 0.2 of 3M Company is smaller, thus worse.
- Looking at risk / return profile (Sharpe) in of -0.08 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.88).

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.56) in the period of the last 5 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 0.18 of 3M Company is smaller, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation is -0.07, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.78 from the benchmark.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (3.99 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Ulcer Ratio of 13 of 3M Company is larger, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (4.04 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Ulcer Ratio of 15 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 drop from peak to valley of -35.6 days in the last 5 years of 3M Company, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (-19.3 days)
- During the last 3 years, the maximum DrawDown is -35.6 days, which is lower, thus worse than the value of -19.3 days from the benchmark.

'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 (187 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum days under water of 371 days of 3M Company is larger, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark is 371 days, which is larger, 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the average days below previous high of 102 days in the last 5 years of 3M Company, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (41 days)
- During the last 3 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark is 113 days, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 36 days from the benchmark.

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 3M Company 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.