Let us create a 3d Digital eBook for you! DigyCat.com
Beta Factors: How They Can Be Used In The Current Situation
Ever since the turn of the century, world stock markets have been very volatile. In other words there have been significant movements (up or down) in share prices. This phenomenon has been evidenced by the collapse in recent years of the share prices of the dot com companies (e.g. Yahoo, Amazon etc.) and the sharp falls in the share prices of telecommunication stocks (e.g. British Telecom, Marconi etc.). Yet despite these events there is very little emphasis placed on measuring the volatility of stocks.
The aim of this article is to explain one method of measuring the volatility namely beta factors and how investors can interpret this information. The article aims to state how investors can use beta factor analysis to their advantage when there are political uncertainties affecting markets. Though some stockbroker firms calculate the beta factors of certain stocks quoted in their respective stock exchanges, investors have little access to these figures. In more developed markets many stockbroker firms do have access to beta factors but it is only in recent years that investors have access to this information.
The beta of an investment is a relative measure of the systematic risk of an investment. In other words it measures the specific risk of the company's shares relative to the market as a whole. In general, the sign of the beta (+/-) indicates whether, on average, the investment's returns move with the market or in the opposite direction to the market. The scale or value of the beta indicates the relative volatility of the particular stock.
A beta of +0.25 for instance, would indicate that on average, the investment's returns move one quarter as much as the markets do in the same direction. If the market rose by 10%, the investment would be expected to rise by 2.5% but on the other hand if the market fell by 10% the investment would be expected to fall by only 2.5%. A beta of -0.1 would indicate that on average, the investment's returns move one tenth as much as the market's do, but in the opposite direction. If the market rose by 10%, the investment would be expected to fall by 1%. Hence we can summarise a number of situations:
If Beta > 1 this means that the investment's returns will move, on average, in the same direction as the market's returns, but to a greater extent.
If Beta = 1 this means that the investment's returns will move, on average, in the same direction as the market's returns, and to the same extent.
If 0 -1, to the same extent if Beta = -1, and to a greater extent if Beta < -1. In practice it is rare to find negative beta stocks since they go against the trend of the market. One possible sector that could consist of negative beta stocks is the gold industry that tends to go against the trend shown by equity markets.
In world markets, beta factors can have a major influence on the investment strategies of investors. If the analysis is to be believed then in times of a bull market (rising markets) investors should hold stocks with a high positive beta factor since they should outperform the market. A practical example of this was in the late 1990's concerning the dot com stocks. At this time the bull market has reached its peak and those investors who held dot com companies (that had high positive beta factors) made excess returns and did far better than the relative index performances.
However in times of bear markets (falling markets) then investors should target low beta stocks since they should outperform the market. An example of this can be found in the UK where two low beta FTSE stocks (Tesco and Centrica) outperformed the market in a falling market.
USING BETA FACTORS IN THE PRESENT SITUATION:
The current world political situation is probably the worst it is for many years. World markets are falling at a rapid pace. What does beta factor analysis teach us about an investment strategy in this situation? Firstly, however good a company is it likely that in such circumstances most will encounter falls in their share prices.
However during this time a number of alternative investments that have negative beta factors have appreciated in value. The prime example of this is gold. Over the past twenty years when there was a strong equity bull market, the price of gold has fallen significantly. In addition to this shares in the gold sector have performed badly when compared to equities. However in the past few years it is noticeable that in the political uncertainty that has arisen in the world that the price of gold has shown material gains at a time when equity markets have recorded sharp falls.
Another commodity that has done well is oil that has seen a significant increase in its price per barrel over the past few months. In line with gold, the oil price has suffered over most of the past twenty years (at a time when equity prices were on an increase) and it is only in recent years that the oil price has shown a recovery.
Beta factor analysis is a useful technique that has enabled many international investors to achieve satisfactory returns in the past. If one looks at the trends in world markets then one can see that in a bull market those investors that have followed a selective aggressive portfolio (i.e. including shares with beta factors of over 1 times) have generally outperformed the market.
However the wheel has changed. We are now in the stage of a bear market. The current political uncertainty has made things extremely difficult for investors. Should they get out of world markets since a conflict will almost certainly mean falling equity prices. Or should investors move to alternative investments with negative beta factors such as gold and oil? After all in case of a conflict these commodities will almost certainly rise and will probably go against the trend of equity prices. The answer will very much depend on how the current political situation develops. However investors will do well if they include gold in their investment portfolios.
Disclaimer: No responsibility for loss can be accepted to any person acting or refraining from acting as a result of material in this article.
ฉ2004 by Andy George. All rights reserved
About The Author
Andy George is a qualified chartered accountant who was born in Birmingham, England and who has had many years' experience in public practice, industry, and commerce and as a lecturer. Since 1991 he has been based in the island of Cyprus. Andy was a financial correspondent for eight years at the Cyprus Financial Mirror where he wrote articles on business and accounting related issues to a non-technical audience.
He is the author of eBooks: How to write and Publish Your Own With a Shoestring Budget http://www.budgetebook.com
Investing - Google News
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news
Investing 101: Risk Terminology - BETA
About thirty years ago, statisticians armed with all of theirstatistical theories began to confront the financial markets. Ahandful of useful tools emerged that the average investor shouldbe familiar with when they look to purchase stocks.
The Key Ingredient To Increase Preconstruction Profits By Over $20,000
One of the greatest preconstruction investing issues that I hear from individual investors is that they can't get access to what they believe are good projects. Regardless if the preconstruction project is a beach condo, a townhouse, a single family home, or even land investment, individuals are finding that many restrictions are being placed on them by developers.
Asset Location - Increase Investing Returns & Reduce Your Taxes
Location - Once the holy grail only for real estate investors is fast becoming the mantra for every stock, bond, and mutual fund investor. Experts and studies now recognize managing asset location is second only to asset allocation in determining the success of your investment returns.
25 Ways to Find Companies to Buy
When you start your program to purchase your "ideal" company, you quickly realize that your ultimate success will depend on two primary skill sets: 1) Your ability to FIND viable companies that are for sale, and 2) Your ability to effectively qualify the potential acquisition investment once found.This article is about only step one, how to creatively find viable companies and one's that are able to be purchased.
Buying Florida Investment Properties and Where Its Hot
Relaxing in Style: Florida Investment PropertiesIn Florida, relaxing in the sun and sand is a way of life. There's no better way to experience a slice of Florida living than buying your own space.
Annuity Owner Mistakes
Okay, so I can tell you I have sat in front of countless numbers of people who have made mistakes when purchasing and owning annuities. And I have visited people who wish they never got involved in an annuity.
Secret Stock Options Trading Strategies the Experts Don`t Want You to Know
To understand stock options, we need to look at Webster’s Dictionary’s definition of the word strategy.Webster’s Dictionary defines the term strategy as1.
How to Use Annual Report
There are many steps in calculating the fair value of a company. However, before we even do that, it is imperative to know how a company earns its profit.
The Power of Small Numbers: Trading Success is Based on Consistency, Not Home Runs
Online trading is so seductive - just sit, click, and rake in the profits! But as anyone who has ever seriously attempted online trading will probably tell you, it's just not as easy as it sounds.Many beginning traders are seduced by the lure of the "home run", that big trade that makes you an instant millionaire and retires you overnight to your own private island paradise.
Everybody Wants to Know How to Invest
Those unfamiliar with the process of making and managing investments often have more than a few trepidations about investing in general. They figure that, since they do not know how to invest, they will never learn.
Why You Need To Buy and Sell Gold Coins (Part 6)
Pre-1933 Gold Outperforms Today's Gold Bullion..
Waiting 20 Years Can Cost You Millions - Dont Wait Start Today
Many Young people live for Today. They really don't fully understand the power of compound interest.
My Way Or The Highway: Give Your Financial Professionals A Good Talking To!
All this talk about Investing is encouraging lately. Over the last few years, more people have become interested in the duty to invest there money, then ever before.
Find a Methodology and Minimize Investment Madness
There are many reasons to be investing these days, and too much opportunity to not have your money working for you.However, I believe the majority of people dread having to deal with investment matters, and tend to jump into purchases and then hold their breath hoping for the best.
It Must Be Joe Cockers Market
Agonizing displays of poor theatrics failed to entertain my mind one recent Saturday evening. I scrolled across several television channels hoping for an engaging program.
When NOT to Invest
Unfortunately, many investors who are seduced by the lure of easy money try to become "active" investors before they have the skills, the resources, or the appropriate intellectual framework to do so.This is not to say that investing in stocks is extraordinarily difficult .
Guru Focused: Robert Olstein's Short Sells
While it is rather rare that value gurus sell stocks short, Robert Olstein has been selling short in his Financial Alert Fund. The accountant-turned fund manager spots values by looking behind the numbers.
Before You Start Investing
There maybe several reasons why you to want to invest your money. You may want to retire early, want to build your own business in the future, or to pay for your kid's education.
Investing in World Markets
There are many different ways to invest in world markets: stocks, bonds, mutual funds, options, commodities or currencies. Sometimes people refer to these options as investment vehicles (or method of investment).
POOF goes your RRIF !
Some time ago I attended a seminar where participants were told to burn some money; a reasonably-sized amount of money. You should have heard the gnawing and gnashing of teeth in that room! Step right up, folks, and light it on fire.
MyIdeal Domain Is For Sale - $8,000 For Enquiries eMail Us
© www.MyIdeal.biz - 2012