'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The total return over 5 years of Paychex is 137%, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (78.4%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (44.1%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return, or increase in value of 48.3% is higher, thus better.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The annual return (CAGR) over 5 years of Paychex is 18.8%, which is higher, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (12.3%) in the same period.
- Looking at annual return (CAGR) in of 14% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to SPY (12.9%).

'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 volatility over 5 years of Paychex is 27.7%, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (19.9%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (23.1%) in the period of the last 3 years, the historical 30 days volatility of 32.6% is greater, 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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (14.6%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside volatility of 19.7% of Paychex is larger, thus worse.
- Looking at downside risk in of 23.2% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to SPY (16.9%).

'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:- The ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) over 5 years of Paychex is 0.59, which is higher, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (0.49) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (0.45) in the period of the last 3 years, the Sharpe Ratio of 0.35 is lower, thus worse.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.67) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside risk / excess return profile of 0.83 of Paychex is greater, thus better.
- During the last 3 years, the downside risk / excess return profile is 0.49, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.62 from the benchmark.

'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 Downside risk index of 9.12 in the last 5 years of Paychex, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (6.16 )
- Looking at Ulcer Ratio in of 11 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to SPY (6.87 ).

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum DrawDown of -44.2 days of Paychex is lower, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (-33.7 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley of -44.2 days is lower, 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) in days.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The maximum time in days below previous high water mark over 5 years of Paychex is 181 days, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (139 days) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (119 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum days under water of 181 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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (35 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average days under water of 45 days of Paychex is greater, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark is 50 days, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 27 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 Paychex 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.