'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 (65.4%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return, or increase in value of 247.1% of Microsoft is greater, thus better.
- Looking at total return, or increase in value in of 166.9% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to SPY (50.2%).

'The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is a useful measure of growth over multiple time periods. It can be thought of as the growth rate that gets you from the initial investment value to the ending investment value if you assume that the investment has been compounding over the time period.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the annual performance (CAGR) of 28.3% in the last 5 years of Microsoft, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (10.6%)
- Looking at compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) in of 38.8% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to SPY (14.5%).

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (13.5%) in the period of the last 5 years, the historical 30 days volatility of 23.4% of Microsoft is larger, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the volatility is 21.7%, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 12.8% from the benchmark.

'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:- The downside deviation over 5 years of Microsoft is 24.3%, which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (14.8%) in the same period.
- Looking at downside 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 (14.7%).

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) over 5 years of Microsoft is 1.1, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (0.6) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (0.94) in the period of the last 3 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of 1.67 is higher, thus better.

'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 excess return divided by the downside deviation of 1.06 in the last 5 years of Microsoft, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.55)
- Looking at excess return divided by the downside deviation in of 1.54 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to SPY (0.82).

'The Ulcer Index is a technical indicator that measures downside risk, in terms of both the depth and duration of price declines. The index increases in value as the price moves farther away from a recent high and falls as the price rises to new highs. The indicator is usually calculated over a 14-day period, with the Ulcer Index showing the percentage drawdown a trader can expect from the high over that period. The greater the value of the Ulcer Index, the longer it takes for a stock to get back to the former high.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The Ulcer Index over 5 years of Microsoft is 5.33 , which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (3.99 ) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (4.1 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Ulcer Ratio of 3.68 is smaller, thus better.

'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:- The maximum DrawDown over 5 years of Microsoft is -18.2 days, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (-19.3 days) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum DrawDown is -18.2 days, which is greater, thus better than the value of -19.3 days from the benchmark.

'The Maximum Drawdown Duration is an extension of the Maximum Drawdown. However, this metric does not explain the drawdown in dollars or percentages, rather in days, weeks, or months. It is the length of time the account was in the Max Drawdown. A Max Drawdown measures a retrenchment from when an equity curve reaches a new high. It’s the maximum an account lost during that retrenchment. This method is applied because a valley can’t be measured until a new high occurs. Once the new high is reached, the percentage change from the old high to the bottom of the largest trough is recorded.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The maximum days below previous high over 5 years of Microsoft is 124 days, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (187 days) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum days under water 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 (42 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average days under water of 28 days of Microsoft is lower, thus better.
- Compared with SPY (36 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average days below previous high of 19 days is smaller, thus better.

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 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.