'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The total return, or performance over 5 years of Willis Towers Watson is 99.7%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (122.1%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the total return, or increase in value is 41.9%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 43.5% 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 annual performance (CAGR) of 14.8% in the last 5 years of Willis Towers Watson, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (17.3%)
- Looking at annual return (CAGR) in of 12.4% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (12.8%).

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (18.8%) in the period of the last 5 years, the 30 days standard deviation of 25% of Willis Towers Watson is greater, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (22.9%) in the period of the last 3 years, the 30 days standard deviation of 28.6% is greater, thus worse.

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

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (13.6%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside volatility of 17.6% of Willis Towers Watson is greater, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the downside deviation is 20.2%, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 16.8% from the benchmark.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.79) in the period of the last 5 years, the Sharpe Ratio of 0.49 of Willis Towers Watson is lower, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (0.45) in the period of the last 3 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of 0.35 is lower, thus worse.

'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:- Looking at the downside risk / excess return profile of 0.7 in the last 5 years of Willis Towers Watson, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (1.09)
- Compared with SPY (0.61) in the period of the last 3 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 0.49 is smaller, thus worse.

'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 6.53 in the last 5 years of Willis Towers Watson, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (5.59 )
- During the last 3 years, the Ulcer Index is 7.77 , which is larger, thus worse than the value of 7.15 from the benchmark.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The maximum drop from peak to valley over 5 years of Willis Towers Watson is -32.9 days, which is higher, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (-33.7 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum DrawDown of -32.9 days is higher, thus better.

'The Maximum 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. It is the length of time the account was in the Max Drawdown. A Max Drawdown measures a retrenchment from when an equity curve reaches a new high. It’s the maximum an account lost during that retrenchment. This method is applied because a valley can’t be measured until a new high occurs. Once the new high is reached, the percentage change from the old high to the bottom of the largest trough is recorded.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the maximum days under water of 240 days in the last 5 years of Willis Towers Watson, 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 240 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the average days under water of 56 days in the last 5 years of Willis Towers Watson, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (33 days)
- Compared with SPY (45 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark of 69 days is higher, 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 Willis Towers Watson 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.