As investors, we look for the best performance. A good performance is not only an absolute figure, but also a relative one, when we make comparisons. For instance, if a share in our portfolio has a performance of 10% in a year, we can think that it is a nice number, in absolute terms. But if the reference index of the share has performed a 15%… well, it is not so nice. That is why it is interesting to take into account some figures to understand if our securities have a good quality compared with their benchmarks:
- Relative trend of the security versus index: it compares both behaviours. If the figure is positive, the security is strong versus the index. If it is negative, there is a weakness. It is one sign to detect if our stock or fund is performing properly against the index.
- Tracking error: this indicator measures the deviation of the difference in daily returns of the security and the benchmark. A higher figures shows that the daily returns of the security has a larger difference compared with the daily returns of the index.
- R 2: it measures the similarity of the daily behaviour of both the asset and the index. If the figure is near to 1, there is a strong parallelism. If it is near 0, there is no relation.
- Correlation: if R 2 measures the similarity of the behaviour, this provides more specific information. If the figure is near to 1, there is a positive correlation (both move identically in the same trend). If it is near to -1, the correlation is negative (both move identically in opposite trends). If it is near to 0, there is no correlation.
R 2 and correlation are very important to find assets not linked with the benchmark if its evolution is negative, for instance, when the index drops. On the other hand, it is also interesting to find correlated assets when the index soars.
- Alpha and beta: both are quite important to measure the outperformance and volatility of the asset compared with the benchmark. We have an extended explanation in this post. Typical investor behaviour is looking for assets with good alpha.
Of course, the analysis of a single reference is not enough to get an idea about the relationship between the asset and the index. We have to look at all data and connect them to understand in a right way if we should put our money there or just go our quickly.