'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (68.1%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return, or increase in value of 247.2% of Microsoft is greater, thus better.
- Looking at total return, or increase in value in of 129.2% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to SPY (47.1%).

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (11%) in the period of the last 5 years, the annual return (CAGR) of 28.3% of Microsoft is larger, thus better.
- During the last 3 years, the annual performance (CAGR) is 31.9%, which is higher, thus better than the value of 13.8% 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 30 days standard deviation of 23.3% in the last 5 years of Microsoft, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (13.2%)
- Compared with SPY (12.4%) in the period of the last 3 years, the historical 30 days volatility of 22% is larger, thus worse.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the downside risk of 23.6% in the last 5 years of Microsoft, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (14.6%)
- During the last 3 years, the downside risk is 23.4%, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 14% 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the Sharpe Ratio of 1.11 in the last 5 years of Microsoft, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.64)
- Compared with SPY (0.91) in the period of the last 3 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of 1.34 is greater, thus better.

'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 downside risk / excess return profile over 5 years of Microsoft is 1.09, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (0.58) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (0.8) in the period of the last 3 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 1.26 is higher, thus better.

'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 Ulcer Ratio of 5.49 in the last 5 years of Microsoft, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (3.95 )
- Looking at Downside risk index in of 4.38 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to SPY (4 ).

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the maximum drop from peak to valley of -18.2 days in the last 5 years of Microsoft, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (-19.3 days)
- Looking at maximum DrawDown in of -18.2 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus better 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). 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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (187 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum days below previous high of 124 days of Microsoft is smaller, thus better.
- Compared with SPY (131 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 112 days is lower, thus better.

'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 (39 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average days below previous high of 29 days of Microsoft is smaller, thus better.
- Looking at average days below previous high in of 21 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (33 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 Microsoft 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.