'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The total return, or performance over 5 years of iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol Global ETF is 58%, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (129.1%) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (71.3%) in the period of the last 3 years, the total return of 32.8% is smaller, thus worse.

'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 9.6% of iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol Global ETF is lower, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the annual performance (CAGR) is 9.9%, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 19.7% from the benchmark.

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (18.7%) in the period of the last 5 years, the historical 30 days volatility of 13.9% of iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol Global ETF is lower, thus better.
- Compared with SPY (22.5%) in the period of the last 3 years, the 30 days standard deviation of 16.9% is smaller, thus better.

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

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (13.6%) in the period of the last 5 years, the downside volatility of 10.2% of iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol Global ETF is lower, thus better.
- Compared with SPY (16.3%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside risk of 12.4% 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the risk / return profile (Sharpe) of 0.51 in the last 5 years of iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol Global ETF, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.83)
- During the last 3 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) is 0.44, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 0.76 from the benchmark.

'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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The ratio of annual return and downside deviation over 5 years of iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol Global ETF is 0.69, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (1.15) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the excess return divided by the downside deviation is 0.6, which is lower, thus worse than the value of 1.05 from the benchmark.

'Ulcer Index is a method for measuring investment risk that addresses the real concerns of investors, unlike the widely used standard deviation of return. UI is a measure of the depth and duration of drawdowns in prices from earlier highs. Using Ulcer Index instead of standard deviation can lead to very different conclusions about investment risk and risk-adjusted return, especially when evaluating strategies that seek to avoid major declines in portfolio value (market timing, dynamic asset allocation, hedge funds, etc.). The Ulcer Index was originally developed in 1987. Since then, it has been widely recognized and adopted by the investment community. According to Nelson Freeburg, editor of Formula Research, Ulcer Index is “perhaps the most fully realized statistical portrait of risk there is.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (5.59 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Ulcer Ratio of 4.73 of iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol Global ETF is smaller, thus better.
- Compared with SPY (6.38 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Ulcer Index of 5.64 is lower, thus better.

'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 DrawDown over 5 years of iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol Global ETF is -28.8 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 -28.8 days, which is higher, 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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum days under water of 226 days of iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol Global ETF is larger, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (119 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum days under water of 226 days is higher, thus worse.

'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 days below previous high over 5 years of iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol Global ETF is 46 days, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (32 days) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the average time in days below previous high water mark is 46 days, which is higher, thus worse 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 iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol Global ETF 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.