Investment Portfolio Metric Formulas and Definitions2018-07-23T20:52:48+00:00

Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR)

The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is the mean annual growth rate of an investment over a specified period of time longer than one year.

To calculate compound annual growth rate, divide the value of an investment at the end of the period in question by its value at the beginning of that period, raise the result to the power of one divided by the period length, and subtract one from the subsequent result.


Maximum Drawdown (MaxDD)

A maximum drawdown (MDD) is the maximum loss from a peak to a trough of a portfolio, before a new peak is attained. Maximum Drawdown (MDD) 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 and computed as:

MDD = (Trough Value – Peak Value) ÷ Peak Value

Max drawdown

Sample MaxDD vs S&P 500 Index


Correlation Coefficient

investing correlation

The correlation coefficient is a statistical measure that calculates the strength of the relationship between the relative movements of the two variables. The range of values for the correlation coefficient bounded by 1.0 on an absolute value basis or between -1.0 to 1.0. If the correlation coefficient is greater than 1.0 or less than -1.0, the correlation measurement is incorrect. A correlation of -1.0 shows a perfect negative correlation, while a correlation of 1.0 shows a perfect positive correlation. A correlation of 0.0 shows zero or no relationship between the movement of the two variables.

Average Beta of Portfolio

The measure of an asset’s risk in relation to the market (for example, the S&P500) or to an alternative benchmark or factors. Roughly speaking, a security with a beta of 1.5, will have move, on average, 1.5 times the market return. [More precisely, that stock’s excess return (over and above a short-term money market rate) is expected to move 1.5 times the market excess return).]

According to asset pricing theory, beta represents the type of risk, systematic risk, that cannot be diversified away. When using beta, there are a number of issues that you need to be aware of: (1) betas may change through time; (2) betas may be different depending on the direction of the market (i.e. betas may be greater for down moves in the market rather than up moves); (3) the estimated beta will be biased if the security does not frequently trade; (4) the beta is not necessarily a complete measure of risk (you may need multiple betas). Also, note that the beta is a measure of co-movement, not volatility. It is possible for a security to have a zero beta and higher volatility than the market.

Up Capture & Down Capture Ratios

Measures a fund’s compound return when the fund’s benchmark return increased, divided by the benchmark’s compound return when the benchmark return increased. The higher the value, the better for rising markets. (the inverse is true for declining markets)

Standard Deviation (annual)

Standard Deviation

In finance, standard deviation is applied to the annual rate of return of an investment to measure the investment’s volatility. Standard deviation is also known as historical volatility and is used by investors as a gauge for the amount of expected volatility.

Standard deviation is a statistical measurement that sheds light on historical volatility. For example, a volatile stock will have a high standard deviation while a stable blue chip stock will have a lower standard deviation. A large dispersion tells us how much the fund’s return is deviating from the expected normal returns.

portfolio standard deviation