Evaluating individual stocks based on their Sharpe ratio, which measures risk-adjusted returns.

Economist William F. Sharpe proposed the Sharpe ratio in 1966 as an outgrowth of his work on the capital asset pricing model (CAPM), calling it the reward-to-variability ratio.1 Sharpe won the Nobel Prize in economics for his work on CAPM in 1990.2

The Sharpe ratio’s numerator is the difference over time between realized, or expected, returns and a benchmark such as the risk-free rate of return or the performance of a particular investment category. Its denominator is the standard deviation of returns over the same period of time, a measure of volatility and risk.

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Evaluating individual stocks based on their Sharpe ratio, which measures risk-adjusted returns.

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