'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, or performance of 153.8% in the last 5 years of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (66.2%)
- Compared with SPY (45.7%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return of 128.2% is greater, thus better.

'The compound annual growth rate isn't a true return rate, but rather a representational figure. It is essentially a number that describes the rate at which an investment would have grown if it had grown the same rate every year and the profits were reinvested at the end of each year. In reality, this sort of performance is unlikely. However, CAGR can be used to smooth returns so that they may be more easily understood when compared to alternative investments.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (10.7%) in the period of the last 5 years, the annual performance (CAGR) of 20.5% of Vertex Pharmaceuticals is larger, thus better.
- Compared with SPY (13.4%) in the period of the last 3 years, the annual performance (CAGR) of 31.7% is higher, 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the 30 days standard deviation of 42.5% in the last 5 years of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, we see it is relatively greater, 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 36.6% is higher, thus worse.

'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:- Looking at the downside volatility of 37.2% in the last 5 years of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (14.6%)
- Looking at downside deviation in of 32.4% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to SPY (14.1%).

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of 0.42 in the last 5 years of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.62)
- During the last 3 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) is 0.8, which is smaller, thus worse than the value of 0.87 from the benchmark.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The ratio of annual return and downside deviation over 5 years of Vertex Pharmaceuticals is 0.48, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.56) in the same period.
- Looking at downside risk / excess return profile in of 0.9 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to SPY (0.77).

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (3.96 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Ulcer Ratio of 21 of Vertex Pharmaceuticals is higher, thus better.
- Compared with SPY (4.01 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Downside risk index of 11 is higher, thus better.

'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 DrawDown over 5 years of Vertex Pharmaceuticals is -49.1 days, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (-19.3 days) in the same period.
- Looking at maximum DrawDown in of -30 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (-19.3 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:- Looking at the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 481 days in the last 5 years of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (187 days)
- During the last 3 years, the maximum days under water is 159 days, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 131 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:- Looking at the average time in days below previous high water mark of 115 days in the last 5 years of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (39 days)
- Compared with SPY (34 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average days under water of 44 days is greater, thus worse.

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 Vertex Pharmaceuticals 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.