Alpha, Beta and Sharp Ratio of Mutual Funds

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Standard deviation (SD): Standard deviation measures the volatility of the returns from a mutual fund scheme over a particular period. It tells you how much the fund’s return can deviate from the historical mean return of the scheme. If a fund has a 12% average rate of return and a standard deviation of 4%, its return will range from 8-16%. Sharp Ratio: This measures how well the fund has performed vis-Ã vis the risk taken by it. It is the excess return over risk-free return (usually return from treasury bills or government securities) divided by the standard deviation. The higher the Sharpe Ratio, the better the fund has performed in proportion to the risk taken by it. Alpha: The simplest definition of an alpha would be the excess return of a fund compared to its benchmark index. If a fund has an alpha of 10%, it means it has outperformed its benchmark by 10% during a specified period. Beta: It measures a fund’s volatility compared to that of a benchmark. It tells you how much a fund’s performance would swing compared to a benchmark. A fund with a beta of 1 means, it will move as much as the benchmark. If a fund has a bet of 1.5, it means that for every 10% upside or downside, the fund’s NAV would be 15% in the respective direction.

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