The capital asset pricing model, or CAPM, is used to price an individual security or portfolio. The general idea behind CAPM is that investors should be compensated in two ways, for the time value of their money and risk incurred. The model helps investors calculate risks and what type of return they should expect on their investment. The time money value is represented by the risk-free rate, usually a 10-year government bond yield, and compensates the investors for placing money in an investment over a period of time. That is added to the other half of the formula which represents risk. It calculates the amount of compensation the investor needs for taking on additional risk. This is done by taking a Beta, which measures a stock’s volatility, and multiplies by its premium. The premium is calculated by subtracting the risk-free rate of return from the expected return of the market. For example, the expected return of a stock can be figured out in the following way using a model. If the risk-free rate is 3% the Beta or risk measure of the stock is 3 and the expected market return over the period is 11%. The stock is expected to return 27%. In short, if the expected return does not make the risk worth it, the investment should not be made.
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