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The historic returns produced over a period of time are known as trailing returns.
It aids in determining a mutual fund’s performance over a given time span.
Trailing returns can be measured for any time period, like one year, three years, year-to-date returns, and even a few months.
As compared to absolute returns, it provides a more transparent image because a mutual fund might have done exceptionally well over a 5-year span but poorly in the last 2-3 years of that time frame.