'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 29.7%, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (64.1%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (48.1%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return, or increase in value of 2.3% is lower, 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the annual return (CAGR) of 5.3% in the last 5 years of 3M Company, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (10.4%)
- During the last 3 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) is 0.7%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 14% from the benchmark.

'In finance, volatility (symbol σ) is the degree of variation of a trading price series over time as measured by the standard deviation of logarithmic returns. Historic volatility measures a time series of past market prices. Implied volatility looks forward in time, being derived from the market price of a market-traded derivative (in particular, an option). Commonly, the higher the volatility, the riskier the security.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the volatility of 19.3% in the last 5 years of 3M Company, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (13.6%)
- Looking at volatility in of 20.4% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to SPY (12.8%).

'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 volatility over 5 years of 3M Company is 21.6%, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (14.9%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the downside risk is 23.7%, which is greater, thus worse than the value of 14.5% from the benchmark.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of 0.15 in the last 5 years of 3M Company, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.58)
- Compared with SPY (0.9) in the period of the last 3 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of -0.09 is smaller, thus worse.

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The excess return divided by the downside deviation over 5 years of 3M Company is 0.13, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.53) in the same period.
- Looking at ratio of annual return and downside deviation in of -0.07 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.79).

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (4.02 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Ulcer Index of 14 of 3M Company is higher, thus worse.
- Looking at Ulcer Index in of 17 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to SPY (4.09 ).

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The maximum drop from peak to valley over 5 years of 3M Company is -36.6 days, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (-19.3 days) in the same period.
- Looking at maximum reduction from previous high in of -36.6 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (-19.3 days).

'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) in days.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The maximum days under water over 5 years of 3M Company is 415 days, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (187 days) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark is 415 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the average time in days below previous high water mark of 116 days in the last 5 years of 3M Company, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (41 days)
- Looking at average days under water in of 132 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to SPY (35 days).

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.