'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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (100.7%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return, or performance of 163.9% of Vertex Pharmaceuticals is larger, thus better.
- Compared with SPY (33.2%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return, or performance of 105.8% is higher, 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:- The annual return (CAGR) over 5 years of Vertex Pharmaceuticals is 21.4%, which is higher, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (15%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (10%) in the period of the last 3 years, the annual performance (CAGR) of 27.2% is greater, thus better.

'In finance, volatility (symbol σ) is the degree of variation of a trading price series over time as measured by the standard deviation of logarithmic returns. Historic volatility measures a time series of past market prices. Implied volatility looks forward in time, being derived from the market price of a market-traded derivative (in particular, an option). Commonly, the higher the volatility, the riskier the security.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The historical 30 days volatility over 5 years of Vertex Pharmaceuticals is 31.5%, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (20.9%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (17.3%) in the period of the last 3 years, the 30 days standard deviation of 27% is larger, thus worse.

'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 volatility of 22% in the last 5 years of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (15%)
- During the last 3 years, the downside risk is 18.1%, which is greater, thus worse than the value of 12% 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.6) in the period of the last 5 years, the Sharpe Ratio of 0.6 of Vertex Pharmaceuticals is greater, thus better.
- Looking at risk / return profile (Sharpe) in of 0.91 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to SPY (0.44).

'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 excess return divided by the downside deviation over 5 years of Vertex Pharmaceuticals is 0.86, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (0.83) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (0.62) in the period of the last 3 years, the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 1.37 is higher, thus better.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The Downside risk index over 5 years of Vertex Pharmaceuticals is 17 , which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (9.32 ) in the same period.
- Looking at Downside risk index in of 7.19 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (10 ).

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The maximum reduction from previous high over 5 years of Vertex Pharmaceuticals is -41.6 days, which is lower, 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 larger, 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) in days.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The maximum days under water over 5 years of Vertex Pharmaceuticals is 521 days, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (488 days) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (488 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum days under water of 134 days is smaller, 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:- The average time in days below previous high water mark over 5 years of Vertex Pharmaceuticals is 128 days, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (123 days) in the same period.
- Looking at average days under water in of 30 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (180 days).

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.