'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The total return, or performance over 5 years of Vanguard Short Term Investment Grade Fund is 13.2%, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (129.1%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the total return, or performance is 12.1%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 71.3% from the benchmark.

'The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is a useful measure of growth over multiple time periods. It can be thought of as the growth rate that gets you from the initial investment value to the ending investment value if you assume that the investment has been compounding over the time period.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (18.1%) in the period of the last 5 years, the annual return (CAGR) of 2.5% of Vanguard Short Term Investment Grade Fund is smaller, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (19.7%) in the period of the last 3 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.9% is lower, thus worse.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (18.7%) in the period of the last 5 years, the historical 30 days volatility of 1.8% of Vanguard Short Term Investment Grade Fund is lower, thus better.
- During the last 3 years, the 30 days standard deviation is 2.1%, which is lower, thus better than the value of 22.5% from the benchmark.

'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:- The downside risk over 5 years of Vanguard Short Term Investment Grade Fund is 1.3%, which is lower, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (13.6%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (16.3%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside volatility of 1.4% is smaller, 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The Sharpe Ratio over 5 years of Vanguard Short Term Investment Grade Fund is 0.01, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (0.83) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) is 0.67, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.76 from the benchmark.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the downside risk / excess return profile of 0.01 in the last 5 years of Vanguard Short Term Investment Grade Fund, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (1.15)
- During the last 3 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation is 0.96, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 1.05 from the benchmark.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (5.59 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Downside risk index of 0.77 of Vanguard Short Term Investment Grade Fund is smaller, thus better.
- Looking at Ulcer Index in of 0.79 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to SPY (6.38 ).

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The maximum drop from peak to valley over 5 years of Vanguard Short Term Investment Grade Fund is -6.1 days, which is greater, 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 reduction from previous high of -6.1 days is greater, 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The maximum days below previous high over 5 years of Vanguard Short Term Investment Grade Fund is 320 days, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (139 days) in the same period.
- Looking at maximum days under water in of 71 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to SPY (119 days).

'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 69 days in the last 5 years of Vanguard Short Term Investment Grade Fund, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (32 days)
- Looking at average time in days below previous high water mark in of 17 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus better in comparison to SPY (25 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 Vanguard Short Term Investment Grade 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.