'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the total return, or increase in value of 248.9% in the last 5 years of Microsoft, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (67.9%)
- Compared with SPY (44.5%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return of 87% is greater, thus better.

'Compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is a business and investing specific term for the geometric progression ratio that provides a constant rate of return over the time period. CAGR is not an accounting term, but it is often used to describe some element of the business, for example revenue, units delivered, registered users, etc. CAGR dampens the effect of volatility of periodic returns that can render arithmetic means irrelevant. It is particularly useful to compare growth rates from various data sets of common domain such as revenue growth of companies in the same industry.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (10.9%) in the period of the last 5 years, the annual performance (CAGR) of 28.4% of Microsoft is larger, thus better.
- During the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) is 23.2%, which is larger, thus better than the value of 13.1% 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The 30 days standard deviation over 5 years of Microsoft is 31.1%, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (21.4%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the historical 30 days volatility is 29.4%, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 18.7% from the benchmark.

'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 21.1% in the last 5 years of Microsoft, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (15.4%)
- Compared with SPY (13.3%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside deviation of 20% is greater, thus worse.

'The Sharpe ratio is the measure of risk-adjusted return of a financial portfolio. Sharpe ratio is a measure of excess portfolio return over the risk-free rate relative to its standard deviation. Normally, the 90-day Treasury bill rate is taken as the proxy for risk-free rate. A portfolio with a higher Sharpe ratio is considered superior relative to its peers. The measure was named after William F Sharpe, a Nobel laureate and professor of finance, emeritus at Stanford University.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The risk / return profile (Sharpe) over 5 years of Microsoft is 0.83, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (0.39) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) is 0.7, which is greater, thus better than the value of 0.56 from the benchmark.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 1.23 in the last 5 years of Microsoft, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.55)
- Compared with SPY (0.79) in the period of the last 3 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 1.03 is greater, 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (9.47 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Ulcer Index of 13 of Microsoft is higher, thus worse.
- Looking at Ulcer Ratio in of 16 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to SPY (10 ).

'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:- The maximum drop from peak to valley over 5 years of Microsoft is -37.1 days, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (-24.5 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley of -37.1 days is smaller, thus worse.

'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:- Looking at the maximum days under water of 383 days in the last 5 years of Microsoft, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (354 days)
- During the last 3 years, the maximum days under water is 383 days, which is greater, thus worse than the value of 354 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The average time in days below previous high water mark over 5 years of Microsoft is 83 days, which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (79 days) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (102 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average days under water of 118 days is greater, thus worse.

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.