'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:- The total return, or performance over 5 years of Vanguard Long Term Treasury Fund is 54.1%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (77.4%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (43.3%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return, or increase in value of 44.6% is greater, 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (12.1%) in the period of the last 5 years, the annual performance (CAGR) of 9% of Vanguard Long Term Treasury Fund is lower, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (12.7%) in the period of the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) of 13.1% is higher, 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The 30 days standard deviation over 5 years of Vanguard Long Term Treasury Fund is 12.9%, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (19%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (22%) in the period of the last 3 years, the historical 30 days volatility of 13.7% is smaller, thus better.

'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 risk of 8.7% in the last 5 years of Vanguard Long Term Treasury Fund, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (13.9%)
- Compared with SPY (16.2%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside volatility of 9% is lower, thus better.

'The Sharpe ratio was developed by Nobel laureate William F. Sharpe, and is used to help investors understand the return of an investment compared to its risk. The ratio is the average return earned in excess of the risk-free rate per unit of volatility or total risk. Subtracting the risk-free rate from the mean return allows an investor to better isolate the profits associated with risk-taking activities. One intuition of this calculation is that a portfolio engaging in 'zero risk' investments, such as the purchase of U.S. Treasury bills (for which the expected return is the risk-free rate), has a Sharpe ratio of exactly zero. Generally, the greater the value of the Sharpe ratio, the more attractive the risk-adjusted return.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the Sharpe Ratio of 0.51 in the last 5 years of Vanguard Long Term Treasury Fund, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.51)
- Compared with SPY (0.46) in the period of the last 3 years, the Sharpe Ratio of 0.77 is higher, thus better.

'The Sortino ratio measures the risk-adjusted return of an investment asset, portfolio, or strategy. It is a modification of the Sharpe ratio but penalizes only those returns falling below a user-specified target or required rate of return, while the Sharpe ratio penalizes both upside and downside volatility equally. Though both ratios measure an investment's risk-adjusted return, they do so in significantly different ways that will frequently lead to differing conclusions as to the true nature of the investment's return-generating efficiency. The Sortino ratio is used as a way to compare the risk-adjusted performance of programs with differing risk and return profiles. In general, risk-adjusted returns seek to normalize the risk across programs and then see which has the higher return unit per risk.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The ratio of annual return and downside deviation over 5 years of Vanguard Long Term Treasury Fund is 0.75, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (0.7) in the same period.
- Looking at downside risk / excess return profile in of 1.17 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to SPY (0.63).

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (5.87 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Downside risk index of 8.82 of Vanguard Long Term Treasury Fund is greater, thus worse.
- Looking at Ulcer Index in of 4.68 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to SPY (7.01 ).

'A maximum drawdown is the maximum loss from a peak to a trough of a portfolio, before a new peak is attained. Maximum Drawdown is an indicator of downside risk over a specified time period. It can be used both as a stand-alone measure or as an input into other metrics such as 'Return over Maximum Drawdown' and the Calmar Ratio. Maximum Drawdown is expressed in percentage terms.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the maximum reduction from previous high of -17 days in the last 5 years of Vanguard Long Term Treasury Fund, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days)
- Looking at maximum DrawDown in of -14.2 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'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 749 days in the last 5 years of Vanguard Long Term Treasury Fund, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (139 days)
- During the last 3 years, the maximum days under water is 385 days, which is greater, 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the average days below previous high of 248 days in the last 5 years of Vanguard Long Term Treasury Fund, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (37 days)
- During the last 3 years, the average days below previous high is 121 days, which is greater, thus worse than the value of 45 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 Vanguard Long Term Treasury Fund 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.