'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 Willis Towers Watson is 105.5%, which is smaller, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (133.2%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the total return, or increase in value is 80.1%, which is smaller, thus worse than the value of 80.4% 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the annual return (CAGR) of 15.5% in the last 5 years of Willis Towers Watson, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (18.5%)
- Compared with SPY (21.8%) in the period of the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) of 21.7% 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 30 days standard deviation of 25.6% of Willis Towers Watson is larger, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (22.4%) in the period of the last 3 years, the 30 days standard deviation of 30% is larger, thus worse.

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The downside deviation over 5 years of Willis Towers Watson is 17.9%, which is larger, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (13.6%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the downside volatility is 20.7%, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 16.2% 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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (0.85) in the period of the last 5 years, the ratio of return and volatility (Sharpe) of 0.51 of Willis Towers Watson is smaller, thus worse.
- Looking at Sharpe Ratio in of 0.64 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (0.86).

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The downside risk / excess return profile over 5 years of Willis Towers Watson is 0.73, which is lower, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (1.18) in the same period.
- Looking at excess return divided by the downside deviation in of 0.93 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to SPY (1.19).

'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.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (5.59 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Ulcer Ratio of 7.59 of Willis Towers Watson is larger, thus worse.
- Looking at Ulcer Ratio in of 8.7 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to SPY (6.36 ).

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the maximum reduction from previous high of -32.9 days in the last 5 years of Willis Towers Watson, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days)
- During the last 3 years, the maximum DrawDown is -32.9 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). 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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark of 252 days of Willis Towers Watson is larger, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark is 252 days, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 119 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:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (32 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average days below previous high of 55 days of Willis Towers Watson is higher, thus worse.
- Looking at average days under water in of 68 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus worse 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 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.