'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the total return, or increase in value of 123.4% in the last 5 years of Merck, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (67.8%)
- Compared with SPY (44.5%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return, or performance of 56.2% is greater, thus better.

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the annual performance (CAGR) of 17.5% in the last 5 years of Merck, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (10.9%)
- During the last 3 years, the annual performance (CAGR) is 16.1%, which is higher, thus better than the value of 13.1% 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 historical 30 days volatility of 23.1% in the last 5 years of Merck, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (21.4%)
- Looking at historical 30 days volatility in of 21.4% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to SPY (18.8%).

'Downside risk is the financial risk associated with losses. That is, it is the risk of the actual return being below the expected return, or the uncertainty about the magnitude of that difference. 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 15.9% in the last 5 years of Merck, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (15.4%)
- Looking at downside volatility in of 14.7% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to SPY (13.3%).

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.39) in the period of the last 5 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of 0.65 of Merck is greater, thus better.
- Looking at risk / return profile (Sharpe) in of 0.63 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to SPY (0.56).

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 0.94 in the last 5 years of Merck, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.55)
- Looking at downside risk / excess return profile in of 0.92 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to SPY (0.79).

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the Downside risk index of 8.44 in the last 5 years of Merck, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (9.46 )
- During the last 3 years, the Ulcer Index is 7.45 , which is lower, thus better than the value of 10 from the benchmark.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the maximum DrawDown of -27.3 days in the last 5 years of Merck, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days)
- Compared with SPY (-24.5 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley of -20.2 days is larger, thus better.

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The maximum days below previous high over 5 years of Merck is 441 days, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (352 days) in the same period.
- Looking at maximum days below previous high in of 271 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (352 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (78 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average days below previous high of 102 days of Merck is larger, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the average days under water is 73 days, which is smaller, thus better than the value of 102 days from the benchmark.

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 Merck 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.