'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (66.2%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return, or increase in value of 146.5% of Vertex Pharmaceuticals is larger, thus better.
- During the last 3 years, the total return is 104.6%, which is greater, thus better than the value of 47.5% from the benchmark.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The annual performance (CAGR) over 5 years of Vertex Pharmaceuticals is 19.8%, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (10.7%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) is 27%, which is higher, thus better than the value of 13.9% 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 volatility over 5 years of Vertex Pharmaceuticals is 42.1%, which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (13.3%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (12.5%) in the period of the last 3 years, the 30 days standard deviation of 36% 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the downside deviation of 36.7% in the last 5 years of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (14.6%)
- During the last 3 years, the downside deviation is 31.8%, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 14.2% from the benchmark.

'The Sharpe ratio (also known as the Sharpe index, the Sharpe measure, and the reward-to-variability ratio) is a way to examine the performance of an investment by adjusting for its risk. The ratio measures the excess return (or risk premium) per unit of deviation in an investment asset or a trading strategy, typically referred to as risk, named after William F. Sharpe.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The risk / return profile (Sharpe) over 5 years of Vertex Pharmaceuticals is 0.41, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.62) in the same period.
- Looking at Sharpe Ratio in of 0.68 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.91).

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The downside risk / excess return profile over 5 years of Vertex Pharmaceuticals is 0.47, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.56) in the same period.
- Looking at excess return divided by the downside deviation in of 0.77 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.8).

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The Ulcer Index over 5 years of Vertex Pharmaceuticals is 21 , which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (3.96 ) in the same period.
- Looking at Ulcer Ratio in of 11 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, 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.'

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.
- Compared with SPY (-19.3 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum DrawDown of -30 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). Many assume Max DD Duration is the length of time between new highs during which the Max DD (magnitude) occurred. But that isn’t always the case. The Max DD duration is the longest time between peaks, period. So it could be the time when the program also had its biggest peak to valley loss (and usually is, because the program needs a long time to recover from the largest loss), but it doesn’t have to be'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the maximum days below previous high of 481 days in the last 5 years of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (187 days)
- During the last 3 years, the maximum days below previous high is 159 days, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 139 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 (41 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average days under water of 116 days of Vertex Pharmaceuticals is greater, thus worse.
- Looking at average days under water in of 46 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, 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.