'The total return on a portfolio of investments takes into account not only the capital appreciation on the portfolio, but also the income received on the portfolio. The income typically consists of interest, dividends, and securities lending fees. This contrasts with the price return, which takes into account only the capital gain on an investment.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The total return over 5 years of Vertex Pharmaceuticals is 159.2%, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (91.2%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (41.5%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return, or increase in value of 79.6% is greater, thus better.

'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 compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over 5 years of Vertex Pharmaceuticals is 21%, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (13.8%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (12.3%) in the period of the last 3 years, the annual performance (CAGR) of 21.6% is greater, thus better.

'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (18.8%) in the period of the last 5 years, the volatility of 37.9% of Vertex Pharmaceuticals is higher, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the volatility is 34.3%, which is greater, thus worse than the value of 22.4% 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (13.7%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside volatility of 23.9% of Vertex Pharmaceuticals is higher, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (16.5%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside deviation of 22.2% is larger, thus worse.

'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:- The risk / return profile (Sharpe) over 5 years of Vertex Pharmaceuticals is 0.49, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.6) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (0.44) in the period of the last 3 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of 0.56 is larger, thus better.

'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 (0.83) in the period of the last 5 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 0.77 of Vertex Pharmaceuticals is lower, thus worse.
- Looking at excess return divided by the downside deviation in of 0.86 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to SPY (0.59).

'The ulcer index is a stock market risk measure or technical analysis indicator devised by Peter Martin in 1987, and published by him and Byron McCann in their 1989 book The Investors Guide to Fidelity Funds. It's designed as a measure of volatility, but only volatility in the downward direction, i.e. the amount of drawdown or retracement occurring over a period. Other volatility measures like standard deviation treat up and down movement equally, but a trader doesn't mind upward movement, it's the downside that causes stress and stomach ulcers that the index's name suggests.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the Ulcer Index of 19 in the last 5 years of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (5.79 )
- During the last 3 years, the Ulcer Index is 8.16 , which is greater, thus worse than the value of 7.09 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the maximum drop from peak to valley of -46 days in the last 5 years of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days)
- Looking at maximum DrawDown in of -21.2 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to SPY (-33.7 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:- Looking at the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 398 days in the last 5 years of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (139 days)
- During the last 3 years, the maximum days under water is 195 days, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 139 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the average time in days below previous high water mark of 98 days in the last 5 years of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (37 days)
- Compared with SPY (45 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average days under water of 45 days is larger, thus worse.

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, 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.