'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The total return, or performance over 5 years of Vertex Pharmaceuticals is 169.5%, which is higher, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (98.3%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the total return, or increase in value is 150.5%, which is higher, thus better than the value of 27.2% from the benchmark.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22% in the last 5 years of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (14.7%)
- During the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) is 36%, which is greater, thus better than the value of 8.4% from the benchmark.

'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:- The 30 days standard deviation over 5 years of Vertex Pharmaceuticals is 31%, which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (20.9%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (17.7%) in the period of the last 3 years, the historical 30 days volatility of 26.3% is larger, thus worse.

'The downside volatility is similar to the volatility, or standard deviation, but only takes losing/negative periods into account.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The downside volatility over 5 years of Vertex Pharmaceuticals is 21.9%, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (14.9%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the downside risk is 17%, which is greater, thus worse than the value of 12.4% 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of 0.63 in the last 5 years of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.58)
- During the last 3 years, the Sharpe Ratio is 1.27, which is greater, thus better than the value of 0.33 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 (0.82) in the period of the last 5 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 0.89 of Vertex Pharmaceuticals is larger, thus better.
- Looking at ratio of annual return and downside deviation in of 1.96 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to SPY (0.47).

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (9.32 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Ulcer Ratio of 17 of Vertex Pharmaceuticals is greater, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the Downside risk index is 5.47 , which is smaller, thus better than the value of 10 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:- The maximum drop from peak to valley over 5 years of Vertex Pharmaceuticals is -41.6 days, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the same period.
- Looking at maximum reduction from previous high in of -19.2 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to SPY (-24.5 days).

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (488 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum days below previous high of 521 days of Vertex Pharmaceuticals is larger, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (488 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum days under water of 78 days is lower, thus better.

'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 (123 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average days under water of 128 days of Vertex Pharmaceuticals is higher, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the average days under water is 20 days, which is lower, thus better than the value of 177 days from the benchmark.

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 Vertex Pharmaceuticals are hypothetical and do not account for slippage, fees or taxes.