What is Sharpe Ratio in Mutual Fund With Calculation Example

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If an investor generates returns which might be lower than the chance adjusted fee of return they may generate a unfavorable average excess return. In these instances where the investor has a greater standard deviation and worse average efficiency may create a negative Sharpe Ratio. For asymmetrical return distribution with a Skewness larger or lesser than zero and Kurtosis greater or lesser than three, the Sharpe ratio will not be a great measure of performance. The Sharpe ratio punishes the funding for good threat, which offers positive returns for buyers.

Another variation of the Sharpe ratio is the Treynor Ratio that makes use of a portfolio’s beta or correlation the portfolio has with the rest of the market. Beta is a measure of an funding’s volatility and risk as in comparison with the overall market. The aim of the Treynor ratio is to determine whether an investor is being compensated for taking extra threat above the inherent danger of the market. The higher a portfolio’s Sharpe ratio, the better its risk-adjusted-performance.

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Basically, this ratio tells an investor how much extra return he will receive on holding a risky asset. The Sharpe ratio can be used to evaluate a portfolio’s past performance (ex-post) where actual returns are used in the formula. Alternatively, an investor could use expected portfolio performance and the expected risk-free rate to calculate an estimated Sharpe ratio (ex-ante). TheTreynor reward to volatility model(sometimes called thereward-to-volatility ratioorTreynor measure), named afterJack L.

The Sharpe Ratio Defined

The ratio makes use of a beta coefficient rather than the standard deviation. The Treynor Ratio shows an investor how much return their investment can offer while bearing in mind its risk level. Another variation of the Sharpe ratio is theTreynor Ratiothat uses a portfolio’s beta or correlation the portfolio has with the rest of the market. The goal of the Treynor ratio is to determine whether an investor is being compensated for taking additional risk above the inherent risk of the market. The Treynor ratio formula is the return of the portfolio less the risk-free rate, divided by the portfolio’s beta. The Sharpe ratio is calculated by subtracting the risk-free rate from the return of the portfolio and dividing that result by the standard deviation of the portfolio’s excess return.


As it is used to measure the risk-adjusted return, it is not so effective if compared alone. Finally, it’s always important to employ Sharpe ratios within the context of your own risk profile. If you have a long investing time horizon, near-term Sharpe ratio figures won’t be as relevant. The higher a fund’s standard deviation, the higher the fund’s returns need to be to earn a high Sharpe ratio.

Sharpe ratio is used to understand the relation between expected returns and volatility levels of a portfolio that helps compare different funds. But this ratio includes some impractical assumptions which is one of the major reasons why the sharpe ratio should not be looked at in isolation to make investment decisions. The Sortino ratio, often referred to as an improved version of the sharpe ratio, only assumes the downside volatility that matters to the investors. The Sharpe ratio could be used by investors to assess the past performance (ex-post) of their investment portfolio, wherein the formula makes use of actual returns. Alternatively, even the expected performance of the portfolio along with its expected risk-free rate could be used to calculate the estimated Sharpe ratio.

Rules to Improve Your Financial Health

As other investment avenues carry risk, even mutual funds carry risk while they endeavour to create wealth for you as investors in long run. Hence you should choose mutual funds based on the risk tolerance level and return expectations. Mutual fund investors can get lured by the flashy numbers of dividend payouts in percentages announced by fund houses on a regular basis in newspapers, websites etc. Fortunately, there are ratios that already exist and calculate the risk and volatility of any mutual fund portfolio.

After that, the excess return is divided by the standard deviation of the return from the portfolio. This determines the excess return for each unit of risk taken by the fund. Nobel laureate William F. Sharpe created the Sharpe ratio in 1966 and since then it has been one of the preferred measures of return relative to the risk of an investment. The Sharpe ratio is used to assess a mutual fund’s risk-adjusted performance. This ratio tells an investor the alpha or the excess return generated because of owning a risky asset. For instance, if there are two funds with different allocations to equity and bonds, the sharpe ratio helps us in assessing which is a better fund against a given level of risk and reward.

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These individuals can take the benefit of using the Sharpe Ratio to compare or evaluate the mutual funds. Thus, the Sharpe Ratio of mutual funds acts as an evaluation tool, but it can’t be the only single parameter. A fund having a higher Sharpe Ratio is considered great because it gives higher returns and higher risk. Therefore, investors looking to earn higher returns tend to opt for a fund that comes with a high ratio. It is majorly used to analyze mutual funds operations with both growth and value style.

Beta Ratio

‘R-negative sharpe ratio’ values range between 0 and 1, where 0 represents no correlation and 1 represents full correlation. If a fund’s beta has an R-squared value that is between 0.75 and 1, the beta of that fund should be trusted. The lower the R-squared the less reliable is the beta, and vice versa. The Sharpe ratio uses the standard deviation of returns in the denominator as its proxy of total portfolio risk, which assumes that returns are normally distributed.

This risk and return combo roughly matches the current parameters of the S&P 500 index. Please note that your stock broker has to return the credit balance lying with them, within three working days in case you have not done any transaction within last 30 calendar days. An investor with a higher risk appetite must invest in a fund that has a beta ratio that exceeds one. It is an instrument of the financial market used to quantify the performance of the mutual fund.

  • The Treynor ratio method is the return of the portfolio less the chance-free fee, divided by the portfolio’s beta.
  • In this blog, we will explain the Sharpe ratio in detail and understand how you can use the ratio to make better investment decisions.
  • Risk-adjusted returns are returns that an investment generates over and above the risk-free return.
  • Investors need to evaluate the risk involved in mutual fund schemes before investing.
  • After that, the excess return is divided by the standard deviation of the return from the portfolio.
  • A zero-beta portfolio would have the identical anticipated return as the chance-free fee.

If two funds supply comparable returns, the one with larger normal deviation could have a lower Sharpe ratio. Sharpe Ratio alone as a quantitative instrument to assess mutual fund’s success is not so effective. For accurate comparison and review, it should be compared with other funds of the same group. Basically, it is measuring excess return (over risk-free rate) per unit of risk. The ratio can be easily manipulated by changing the time intervals for calculating the standard deviation.

But even though the Sharpe ratio holds many practical applications, it’s important to understand the extent of its usefulness. This shows that the addition of a new asset can give a fillip to the overall portfolio return without adding any undue risk. Because the ratio sees negative and positive volatility in the same light, some believe that the ratio is not as rigorous or as fine-tuned as it could be.

Regardless of which ratio is used, investors gain a better insight as to the risk of various investments. You should not read the Sharpe ratio in isolation, as it is a relative measure. Thus, you can’t tell if a fund is good or bad by looking at a fund’s Sharpe ratio alone.

The very concept that risky assets must have a high expected return in contrast to the less risky assets, forms the basis for Jenson’s Alpha. In case the return of an asset is higher than that of the risk-adjusted returns, then that asset has a “positive alpha” or what is termed as “abnormal returns”. Jenson’s Alpha describes an investment active return and measures its performance against an index benchmark representative of the whole market. This ratio will indicate an investment’s performance post consideration of its risk. Jensen’s Alpha has proven to be a useful metric for evaluating the risk-adjusted performance of mutual funds. Although it has its limitations, investors can use it in conjunction with other performance measures to make informed decisions about their investments.

Conversely, a negative Sharpe Ratio suggests that the fund has performed worse than the risk-free asset, indicating that it did not generate enough returns to compensate for the risk taken. As talked about above, the higher the number, the higher the investment seems from a threat/return perspective. The distinction lies in analyzing the excess return of the asset to beta and never the usual deviation of the asset. The beta measures solely the asset’s sensitivity to the market’s actions, whereas the usual deviation describes the volatility of the asset. The ratio is the average return that the investor gains as per the risk-free rate per unit of volatility or total risk. The Sharpe ratio can be used as a method to compare the funds placed in the same category as a performance analysis.

Finally, it is always desirable to use Sharpe ratio keeping your investment horizon in focus. Usually, you will find the Sharpe ratio indicating three years’ risk-adjusted-performance. But if you have a long-term investment horizon, such ratio might seem irrelevant. 4) Sharpe Ratio is used to evaluate a mutual fund which is considered not a good strategy. 1) Sharpe Ratio of a fund does not take any responsibility for managing portfolio risks and does not reveal whether the fund is dealing with single or multiple factors.

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. In order to compensate for the higher standard deviation, the fund needs to generate a better return to keep up the next Sharpe ratio. In easy phrases, it exhibits how a lot extra return an investor earns by taking additional threat. Intuitively, it can be inferred that the Sharpe ratio of a danger-free asset is zero. Example – If a fund achieves returns of 7%, while the risk-free rate is 4%, then the excess returns or the alpha generated by the fund is 3%.

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The ratio measures if you are enjoying higher returns for the extra risks you take. It helps you check whether the investment risk of the portfolio is worth it by measuring the returns it generates. It helps you know whether your invested asset generates returns to compensate for the risk you are taking.

Tax Saving Investment Made Simple

The popularity of Sharpe ratio can never be undermine till we develop another risk return measure that takes into account the drawbacks of Sharpe ratio. Alpha basically is the difference between the returns an investor expects from a fund, given its beta, and the return it produces. Ved holds a Master’s Degree in Management Studies in Finance from the ICFAI Business School Mumbai. He is extremely passionate about Equity markets and swears by the age-old maxim of “Time in the market is more important than timing the market”. He has in-depth knowledge & knack of the mutual fund industry and loves working on client portfolios and analyzing Mutual fund schemes on myriad subjective and objective parameters.

Generally, it is calculated every month and then annualised for easy comprehension. In this fashion, beta can influence a stock’s anticipated fee of return and share valuation. Most of the time when individuals calculate and use Sharpe ratio, it is positive (otherwise there’s not a lot sense in spending time to calculate it). Sharpe ratio is optimistic when excess return is optimistic, which is when the investment return is larger than the danger-free rate. Here, the investor has shown that although the hedge fund investment is decreasing absolutely the return of the portfolio, it has improved its efficiency on a danger-adjusted basis. The returns received over and above the return earned by a risk-free asset such as a fixed deposit or government bond are usually risk-adjusted returns.

Alpha gives a measure of the risk adjusted performance of your investment. Simply put, it will give you an idea of the excess returns that your invested fund may generate, compared to its benchmark. For example, if a mutual fund scheme has an alpha of 5.0, it usually means that the fund has outperformed its benchmark index by 5%. It can be seen as the additional value the mutual fund manager adds or takes away from the return on your portfolio. Sharpe ratio helps investors understand the return from an investment with respect to the risk involved.

  • The ratio is used everywhere in the globe and investors should use it for their profit.
  • Through this method, you can confirm that the risk levels are comparable and so are the risk-adjusted returns.
  • In terms of the “added risk” that an investor takes when investing in volatile investments such as equity funds, high returns are seen.
  • He or she assumes that the chance-free fee will remain the same over the coming 12 months.

In other words, if you take a higher risk, you should earn a higher return. That is why you need to look at not just returns but the risk-adjusted return of mutual fund schemes in which you plan to invest. Risk-adjusted return means how much return you are earning for the risk you are taking. For occasion, let’s take a portfolio that includes 50 per cent equity and 50 per cent bonds with a portfolio return of 20 per cent and a regular deviation of 10 per cent.


If the Alpha is lesser than 0, it indicates that the risk involved in the investment was higher than the expected return. If the Alpha is equal to 0, it indicates that the return earned on the investment is sufficient for the amount of risk taken. If the Alpha is greater than 0, it indicates that the return earned is higher than the risk.

It does not show or proof or accurately predict the future consistency of the investment. Standard deviation is an accurate measure of how much deviation occurs from the historical mean. The Sharpe ratio is time dependent; that is, the overall Sharpe ratio increases proportionally with the square root of time. Betapis the Portfolio Beta or the sensitivity of a portfolio to various changes taking place in the market. Let’s understand the relationship between Standard Deviation and Sharpe ratio better with an illustration.

You may even broaden your horizon by comparing the fund’s Sharpe ratio with that of the underlying benchmark. Volatility is one indicator of an asset or portfolio’s price fluctuations. Reducing the risk-free rate from the mean return helps an investor to separate the income of risk-taking behaviours better. The risk-free return rate is the return on a zero-risk investment, meaning it could be assumed by return investors to take no risk.

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