'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 performance over 5 years of Merck is 60.4%, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (120.8%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the total return is 48%, which is smaller, thus worse than the value of 66.3% from the benchmark.

'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:- The compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over 5 years of Merck is 9.9%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (17.2%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) is 13.9%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 18.5% from the benchmark.

'Volatility is a statistical measure of the dispersion of returns for a given security or market index. Volatility can either be measured by using the standard deviation or variance between returns from that same security or market index. Commonly, the higher the volatility, the riskier the security. In the securities markets, volatility is often associated with big swings in either direction. For example, when the stock market rises and falls more than one percent over a sustained period of time, it is called a 'volatile' market.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the 30 days standard deviation of 22% in the last 5 years of Merck, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (18.7%)
- Looking at historical 30 days volatility in of 23.6% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to SPY (22.4%).

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (13.6%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside volatility of 15% of Merck is larger, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the downside deviation is 16.4%, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 16.3% 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.78) in the period of the last 5 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of 0.34 of Merck is lower, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (0.71) in the period of the last 3 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of 0.48 is smaller, thus worse.

'The Sortino ratio improves upon the Sharpe ratio by isolating downside volatility from total volatility by dividing excess return by the downside deviation. The Sortino ratio is a variation of the Sharpe ratio that differentiates harmful volatility from total overall volatility by using the asset's standard deviation of negative asset returns, called downside deviation. The Sortino ratio takes the asset's return and subtracts the risk-free rate, and then divides that amount by the asset's downside deviation. The ratio was named after Frank A. Sortino.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (1.08) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside risk / excess return profile of 0.49 of Merck is smaller, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (0.98) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside risk / excess return profile of 0.7 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (5.59 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Downside risk index of 8.35 of Merck is larger, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (6.83 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Downside risk index of 8.39 is greater, thus worse.

'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:- Looking at the maximum DrawDown of -27.3 days in the last 5 years of Merck, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days)
- Looking at maximum drop from peak to valley in of -27.3 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to SPY (-33.7 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). 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'

Which means for our asset as example:- The maximum time in days below previous high water mark over 5 years of Merck is 324 days, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (139 days) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum days below previous high is 324 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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (33 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark of 76 days of Merck is greater, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the average days below previous high is 85 days, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 35 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.