'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the total return, or performance of -34.1% in the last 5 years of United Airlines, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (68.1%)
- Compared with SPY (47%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return, or performance of 60% is greater, 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the annual performance (CAGR) of -8% in the last 5 years of United Airlines, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (11%)
- Compared with SPY (13.7%) in the period of the last 3 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.9% is greater, 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The historical 30 days volatility over 5 years of United Airlines is 59%, 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 56.4%, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 18.7% from the benchmark.

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (15.4%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside volatility of 40.6% of United Airlines is larger, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (13.3%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside volatility of 36.7% 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.4) in the period of the last 5 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of -0.18 of United Airlines is smaller, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the Sharpe Ratio is 0.26, which is smaller, thus worse than the value of 0.6 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:- The excess return divided by the downside deviation over 5 years of United Airlines is -0.26, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.55) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (0.84) in the period of the last 3 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 0.39 is lower, thus worse.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (9.45 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Downside risk index of 46 of United Airlines is larger, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (10 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Ulcer Index of 27 is higher, thus worse.

'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.'

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 drop from peak to valley of -79.4 days of United Airlines is smaller, thus worse.
- Looking at maximum reduction from previous high in of -50 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (-24.5 days).

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The maximum days under water over 5 years of United Airlines is 1128 days, which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (351 days) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark is 553 days, which is greater, thus worse than the value of 351 days from the benchmark.

'The Average 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. 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 (78 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average days under water of 519 days of United Airlines is higher, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (101 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark of 218 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 United Airlines 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.