'The total return on a portfolio of investments takes into account not only the capital appreciation on the portfolio, but also the income received on the portfolio. The income typically consists of interest, dividends, and securities lending fees. This contrasts with the price return, which takes into account only the capital gain on an investment.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the total return, or performance of 84.8% in the last 5 years of Merck, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (125.9%)
- During the last 3 years, the total return is 44.3%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 44.4% 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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (17.7%) in the period of the last 5 years, the annual return (CAGR) of 13.1% of Merck is smaller, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (13%) in the period of the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) of 13% is larger, thus better.

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the 30 days standard deviation of 22.1% in the last 5 years of Merck, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (18.7%)
- Compared with SPY (22.8%) in the period of the last 3 years, the 30 days standard deviation of 24% 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 volatility over 5 years of Merck is 14.9%, which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (13.6%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (16.7%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside deviation of 16.6% is smaller, thus better.

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.81) in the period of the last 5 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of 0.48 of Merck is smaller, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) is 0.44, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.46 from the benchmark.

'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:- Looking at the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 0.71 in the last 5 years of Merck, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (1.12)
- During the last 3 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation is 0.63, which is higher, thus better than the value of 0.63 from the benchmark.

'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:- The Ulcer Ratio over 5 years of Merck is 7.73 , which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (5.59 ) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the Downside risk index is 7.89 , which is larger, thus worse than the value of 7.14 from the benchmark.

'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.'

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

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the maximum days under water of 266 days in the last 5 years of Merck, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (139 days)
- Compared with SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum days below previous high of 266 days is larger, thus worse.

'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:- The average days below previous high over 5 years of Merck is 63 days, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (33 days) in the same period.
- Looking at average days under water in of 65 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to SPY (45 days).

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.