How Do You Calculate the Portfolio Diversification Formula?
By Nathaniel Brooks profile image Nathaniel Brooks
3 min read

How Do You Calculate the Portfolio Diversification Formula?

There’s the age-old saying to never put all of your eggs in the same basket and for the right reason.

Think about the possibility of cutting down the risk level of your investment portfolio by nearly one-third. As Vanguard rightly pointed out, that is exactly what a well-diversified portfolio is capable of doing. Optimization can be a strong approach that can help protect your money from fluctuations and increase your earnings.

This way, you can avoid the risks associated with any particular asset class and sector and, at the same time, get the best out of different opportunities in the market. We’re here to discuss the concept of portfolio diversification, its significance, and how to calculate an effective diversification formula.

Understanding Portfolio Diversification

Portfolio diversification is the process of investing in a wide variety of assets to minimize investment in any one asset or risk. This approach helps in managing two types of risks: It is divided into two main components, namely systematic risk and unsystematic risk.

Market risk, or systematic risk, is risks that are common to all market assets and cannot be avoided through diversification, such as a recession or a shift in interest rates.

Conversely, systematic risk is unique to particular firms or industries and can be reduced through diversification. Generally, this principle helps investors diversify in several ways so that poor performance in any of the investments will not greatly affect the overall investment.

Calculating the Diversification Formula

There is also the need to define and quantify the diversification so as to arrive at the figure needed in the portfolio. Here is a step-by-step guide to calculating diversification using the correlation formula: 

  1. Collect Data on Asset Returns: Collect data on the past returns of the assets in your portfolio for a given period.
  2. Calculate Variance and Standard Deviation: This will help determine the volatility of each asset in question and offer a concrete basis for investment.
  3. Determine Covariance: Determine the degree of relationship between two assets. Covariance shows whether the returns on the assets are positively related or not (positive covariance) or are negatively related (negative covariance).
  4. Calculate the Correlation Coefficient: The correlation coefficient is determined by means of the formula: correlation coefficient = covariance of the assets/ (standard deviation of the assets x standard deviation of the assets). The formula is:

Correlation(r) = Covariance of Asset A and B / Standard Deviation of Asset A×Standard Deviation of Asset B

Example Calculation:

Assume you have two assets, A and B. Here’s a step-by-step calculation:

  • Step 1: Calculate the mean return for each asset.
  • Step 2: Find the deviation from the mean for each asset for each time period.
  • Step 3: Calculate the product of these deviations for each time period.
  • Step 4: Find the average of these products to determine the covariance.
  • Step 5: Divide the covariance by the product of the standard deviations of both assets to obtain the correlation coefficient.

For instance, if the covariance between Asset A and Asset B is 0.002, and the standard deviations of Asset A and Asset B are 0.05 and 0.04, respectively, the correlation coefficient would be: 

Correlation(r)= 0.002/0.005*0.004 = 1

A correlation coefficient close to 1 indicates a strong positive relationship, while a coefficient close to -1 indicates a strong negative relationship. A coefficient close to zero suggests no relationship between the assets’ returns.

Applying the Diversification Formula in Practice

Once you have calculated the correlation coefficients, you can use them to build a diversified portfolio. The goal is to include assets with low or negative correlations to reduce overall risk. 

For example, pairing stocks with bonds, which often have a negative correlation, can provide stability in your portfolio. Regularly revisiting and adjusting your portfolio based on updated correlation data can help maintain optimal diversification.

Wrapping Up

The idea of diversification is the cornerstone in the field of risk and return management of investment portfolios. Recognizing Modern Portfolio Theory and determining the correlation of the assets, investors can create diversified portfolios that are more secure in the conditions of market fluctuations.

Envest takes pride in assisting you in understanding the trade secrets of diversification. Industry expertise and market research are valuable resources, and our recommendations present you with high-performing assets.

This allows diversification strategies to incorporate adequate analysis and current market trends. Transform your financial life now with the help of Envest and informed diversification: be in control of your future. 

Our approach guarantees that your investments are well placed to reap great results time after another into the future.

Please note that while our research is grounded in analyses conducted by market professionals, it should not be construed as direct investment advice. We are not registered investment advisors. As such, we offer insights intended to provide you with well-informed perspectives, aiming to assist you in making educated decisions. However, we do not provide warranties regarding the accuracy or completeness of the information presented. Any investment decisions you make are at your sole discretion and responsibility.
By Nathaniel Brooks profile image Nathaniel Brooks
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