'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:- Looking at the total return, or performance of 472.6% in the last 5 years of Microsoft, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (129.1%)
- Compared with SPY (71.3%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return of 193.1% 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (18.1%) in the period of the last 5 years, the annual performance (CAGR) of 41.8% of Microsoft is higher, thus better.
- Compared with SPY (19.7%) in the period of the last 3 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 43.1% is larger, 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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (18.7%) in the period of the last 5 years, the 30 days standard deviation of 27.4% of Microsoft is greater, thus worse.
- Looking at 30 days standard deviation in of 31.5% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to SPY (22.5%).

'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:- The downside deviation over 5 years of Microsoft is 18.3%, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (13.6%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the downside volatility is 21.2%, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 16.3% 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 (0.83) in the period of the last 5 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of 1.44 of Microsoft is higher, thus better.
- Looking at risk / return profile (Sharpe) in of 1.29 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to SPY (0.76).

'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:- Looking at the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 2.15 in the last 5 years of Microsoft, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (1.15)
- Compared with SPY (1.05) in the period of the last 3 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation of 1.91 is larger, thus better.

'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:- Looking at the Ulcer Index of 4.99 in the last 5 years of Microsoft, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (5.59 )
- During the last 3 years, the Ulcer Ratio is 5.78 , which is smaller, thus better than the value of 6.38 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:- The maximum drop from peak to valley over 5 years of Microsoft is -28 days, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley is -28 days, which is larger, thus better than the value of -33.7 days from the benchmark.

'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:- Looking at the maximum days under water of 112 days in the last 5 years of Microsoft, we see it is relatively lower, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (139 days)
- Compared with SPY (119 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 98 days is lower, thus better.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The average days below previous high over 5 years of Microsoft is 21 days, which is smaller, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (32 days) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the average days under water is 22 days, which is smaller, thus better than the value of 25 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 Microsoft 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.