Standard Deviation in Mutual Fund

November 15, 2023

Standard Deviation In Mutual Fund

Standard deviation in mutual funds tells us how much a fund’s return can vary from its average return. It’s like a tool that helps investors understand the risk involved with a particular mutual fund. In simple terms, it helps investors figure out how stable or unstable the returns can be, aiding them in deciding where to invest their money.


What Is Standard Deviation In Mutual Funds?

The standard deviation in mutual funds represents the fluctuation in the returns of a mutual fund from its average return. It provides insights into the fund’s volatility, indicating the level of risk involved. A higher standard deviation denotes more fluctuation and, consequently, higher risk.

Let’s take a mutual fund that usually gives a return of 10%. If the standard deviation is noted to be 5%, this means the actual returns of the fund can typically vary between 5% and 15%. So, if an investor is looking at this mutual fund, they can understand that the returns they might get could be as low as 5% or as high as 15%. This information helps investors decide if this fund fits well with the level of risk they are comfortable with and whether it meets their investment objectives.

How To Calculate Standard Deviation In Mutual Funds

Here are the steps to calculate standard deviation in mutual funds:

  1. Obtain the periodic returns of the mutual fund.
  2. Calculate the average return.
  3. Determine the variance by calculating the squared deviation of each return from the average and then finding the average of those squared deviations.
  4. Finally, calculate the square root of the variance to get the standard deviation.

To figure out the standard deviation for a mutual fund, you first collect the fund’s returns over a certain time. Then, find the average return. Next, calculate the variance, which is the average of the squared differences between each return and the average return. Finally, find the standard deviation by getting the square root of the variance. This value shows how much the fund’s returns can vary, indicating its level of risk or volatility.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Standard Deviation

The primary advantage of using standard deviation is that it quantifies investment risk, allowing investors to assess the volatility. However, the main disadvantage is that standard deviation operates under the assumption that the returns of mutual funds are normally distributed, which isn’t always true.

Other advantages are as follows:

  • Provides a clear measure of volatility.
  • Helps in comparing the risk of different funds.
  • Assists in portfolio construction by adding diversification.
  • Offers insights into the fund’s return predictability.

Other disadvatages:

  • Can be misleading if used as the sole metric for assessing risk.
  • Does not differentiate between upside and downside fluctuations.

Interpretation of Standard Deviation

Interpreting standard deviation involves understanding the level of volatility associated with a mutual fund. A higher standard deviation indicates higher volatility and risk, while a lower standard deviation suggests lower risk and volatility.

If Mutual Fund A has a standard deviation of 8% and Mutual Fund B has a standard deviation of 12%, it implies that Mutual Fund B is more volatile and risky than Mutual Fund A. Investors must consider their risk tolerance and investment objectives when interpreting standard deviation to select the appropriate mutual fund.

Do you want to expand your knowledge about mutual funds? We’ve got a list of must-read blogs that will help you do just that. Just click on the articles to find out more.

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What Is Standard Deviation In Mutual Funds?  – Quick Summary

  • Standard deviation measures the variability of a mutual fund’s returns. It is crucial for assessing the volatility and risk of a mutual fund.
  • Calculating standard deviation involves determining the average, variance, and taking the square root of the variance.
  • It has several advantages, like quantifying risk and aiding in portfolio construction but also has disadvantages, like assuming normal distribution of returns.
  • Proper interpretation of standard deviation is essential for selecting suitable mutual funds based on individual risk tolerance and investment goals.
  • Alice Blue offers mutual fund investments at no cost. With Alice Blue’s Refer and Earn program, you will receive Rs 500 for each referral and 20% of your friend’s lifetime brokerage fees, among the highest in the industry.

Standard Deviation In Mutual Fund – FAQs  

1. What Is Standard Deviation In Mutual Funds?

Standard deviation in mutual funds is a statistical tool used to measure the variability of a fund’s return relative to its average return, indicating the level of risk and volatility involved.

2. What is a good standard deviation for a mutual fund?

A lower standard deviation is generally considered good as it indicates lower volatility and risk, but the ‘good’ standard deviation level may vary depending on individual risk tolerance and investment objectives.

3. Why is standard deviation important in mutual funds?

Standard deviation is important because it gives a number to the level of risk and volatility in mutual fund returns. This helps investors choose funds that fit their risk tolerance and investment goals.

4. How is mutual fund standard deviation calculated?

It is calculated by determining the average return, calculating the variance by averaging the squared deviations of each return from the mean, and then taking the square root of the variance.

5. What is a good standard deviation of returns?

A good standard deviation of returns is relative and depends on individual risk tolerance; however, a lower standard deviation is generally preferred as it indicates less volatility.

6. Is higher standard deviation better for investment?

A higher standard deviation indicates higher risk and potential for higher returns, but it may not be better for all investors, especially those with a lower risk tolerance.

To gain a better understanding of the topic and access more information , explore the articles below that cover mutual funds, stock market insights, trading strategies, and organizational perspectives.

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