'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:- The total return over 5 years of Vertex Pharmaceuticals is 82.9%, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (66.1%) in the same period.
- Looking at total return, or performance in of 96.4% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to SPY (46.2%).

'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:- Looking at the annual return (CAGR) of 12.9% in the last 5 years of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (10.7%)
- During the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) is 25.3%, which is greater, thus better than the value of 13.5% from the benchmark.

'Volatility is a rate at which the price of a security increases or decreases for a given set of returns. Volatility is measured by calculating the standard deviation of the annualized returns over a given period of time. It shows the range to which the price of a security may increase or decrease. Volatility measures the risk of a security. It is used in option pricing formula to gauge the fluctuations in the returns of the underlying assets. Volatility indicates the pricing behavior of the security and helps estimate the fluctuations that may happen in a short period of time.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The 30 days standard deviation over 5 years of Vertex Pharmaceuticals is 37.7%, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (13.4%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the historical 30 days volatility is 35.4%, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 12.3% from the benchmark.

'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:- Looking at the downside deviation of 35.9% in the last 5 years of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (14.6%)
- Looking at downside deviation in of 31.2% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to SPY (13.9%).

'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 0.27 in the last 5 years of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.61)
- During the last 3 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) is 0.64, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.9 from the benchmark.

'The Sortino ratio improves upon the Sharpe ratio by isolating downside volatility from total volatility by dividing excess return by the downside deviation. The Sortino ratio is a variation of the Sharpe ratio that differentiates harmful volatility from total overall volatility by using the asset's standard deviation of negative asset returns, called downside deviation. The Sortino ratio takes the asset's return and subtracts the risk-free rate, and then divides that amount by the asset's downside deviation. The ratio was named after Frank A. Sortino.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.56) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside risk / excess return profile of 0.29 of Vertex Pharmaceuticals is lower, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (0.8) in the period of the last 3 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 0.73 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 (3.99 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Ulcer Index of 21 of Vertex Pharmaceuticals is larger, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the Ulcer Ratio is 11 , which is larger, thus worse than the value of 4.04 from the benchmark.

'Maximum drawdown is defined as the peak-to-trough decline of an investment during a specific period. It is usually quoted as a percentage of the peak value. The maximum drawdown can be calculated based on absolute returns, in order to identify strategies that suffer less during market downturns, such as low-volatility strategies. However, the maximum drawdown can also be calculated based on returns relative to a benchmark index, for identifying strategies that show steady outperformance over time.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the maximum DrawDown of -49.1 days in the last 5 years of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (-19.3 days)
- During the last 3 years, the maximum DrawDown is -30 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (187 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum days below previous high of 481 days of Vertex Pharmaceuticals is greater, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum days under water of 159 days is larger, thus worse.

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for 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 119 days of Vertex Pharmaceuticals is larger, thus worse.
- Looking at average time in days below previous high water mark in of 51 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to SPY (36 days).

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.