'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:- Looking at the total return of 105.5% in the last 5 years of United Continental, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (68.7%)
- Looking at total return in of 86.5% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to SPY (47.9%).

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.5% in the last 5 years of United Continental, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (11%)
- Compared with SPY (14%) in the period of the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) of 23.2% 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the volatility of 34.9% in the last 5 years of United Continental, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (13.3%)
- Compared with SPY (12.5%) in the period of the last 3 years, the 30 days standard deviation of 31.6% 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the downside volatility of 35.9% in the last 5 years of United Continental, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (14.6%)
- Looking at downside volatility in of 33.8% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to SPY (14.2%).

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The Sharpe Ratio over 5 years of United Continental is 0.37, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.64) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (0.91) in the period of the last 3 years, the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of 0.65 is smaller, thus worse.

'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 excess return divided by the downside deviation of 0.36 in the last 5 years of United Continental, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.58)
- Looking at downside risk / excess return profile in of 0.61 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.81).

'Ulcer Index is a method for measuring investment risk that addresses the real concerns of investors, unlike the widely used standard deviation of return. UI is a measure of the depth and duration of drawdowns in prices from earlier highs. Using Ulcer Index instead of standard deviation can lead to very different conclusions about investment risk and risk-adjusted return, especially when evaluating strategies that seek to avoid major declines in portfolio value (market timing, dynamic asset allocation, hedge funds, etc.). The Ulcer Index was originally developed in 1987. Since then, it has been widely recognized and adopted by the investment community. According to Nelson Freeburg, editor of Formula Research, Ulcer Index is “perhaps the most fully realized statistical portrait of risk there is.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the Downside risk index of 19 in the last 5 years of United Continental, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (3.96 )
- Looking at Ulcer Ratio in of 13 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to SPY (4.01 ).

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the maximum drop from peak to valley of -48.7 days in the last 5 years of United Continental, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (-19.3 days)
- During the last 3 years, the maximum reduction from previous high is -30.3 days, which is smaller, thus worse than the value of -19.3 days from the benchmark.

'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 days under water over 5 years of United Continental is 473 days, which is higher, thus worse 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 296 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (41 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark of 142 days of United Continental is higher, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the average days below previous high is 82 days, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 36 days from the benchmark.

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 United Continental 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.