'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The total return, or increase in value over 5 years of 3M Company is -5.9%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (36.4%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (14.9%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return of -24.2% is smaller, thus worse.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (6.4%) in the period of the last 5 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of -1.2% of 3M Company is smaller, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (4.7%) in the period of the last 3 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of -8.8% 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 volatility over 5 years of 3M Company is 22.8%, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (17.8%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (20%) in the period of the last 3 years, the 30 days standard deviation of 26.4% is greater, thus worse.

'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:- The downside risk over 5 years of 3M Company is 17.1%, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (13.2%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (15.1%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside deviation of 20.2% is larger, 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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.22) in the period of the last 5 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of -0.16 of 3M Company is lower, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) is -0.43, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.11 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 (0.3) in the period of the last 5 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of -0.22 of 3M Company is lower, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (0.15) in the period of the last 3 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of -0.56 is lower, thus worse.

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The Downside risk index over 5 years of 3M Company is 17 , which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (4.93 ) in the same period.
- Looking at Ulcer Index in of 22 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to SPY (5.58 ).

'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 (-33.7 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum DrawDown of -51.2 days of 3M Company is lower, thus worse.
- Looking at maximum DrawDown in of -51.2 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse 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:- The maximum time in days below previous high water mark over 5 years of 3M Company is 545 days, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (187 days) in the same period.
- Looking at maximum days under water in of 545 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to SPY (139 days).

'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:- The average time in days below previous high water mark over 5 years of 3M Company is 159 days, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (42 days) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (36 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark of 212 days is larger, thus worse.

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 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.