Calmar Ratio

A measure of the performance of an investment fund – such as a hedge fund – compared to its risk

What is the Calmar Ratio?

The Calmar ratio is a formula that measures the performance of an investment fund – such as a hedge fund – compared to its risk. It is commonly used by investors as a risk-adjusted measure in the selection of investments.

 

Calmar Ratio

 

The Calmar ratio indicates the relationship between risk and return. It is a function of the expected annual rate of return and the maximum drawdown over the previous three years. It is used to assess the success of various hedge funds and make investment decisions. A high ratio implies that it worked better on a risk-adjusted basis over the specified timeframe, usually set at 36 months.

 

Summary

  • The Calmar ratio measures the performance of an investment fund – such as a hedge fund – compared to its risk.
  • It aims to demonstrate the amount of risk required to obtain a return. It will help investors to balance their risk appetite with their investment decisions.
  • The ratio cannot be adjusted to various time horizons; hence, portfolios must have the same period of backtesting.

 

Calculating the Calmar Ratio

The Calmar ratio is determined by taking the investment fund’s estimated annual rate of return, usually for a three-year term, and dividing it by its maximum drawdown.

 

Calmar Ratio - Formula

 

Where:

Rp = Portfolio return

Rf = Risk-free rate

Rp – Rf = Annual rate of return

 

The annual rate of return shows how the hedge fund has been doing over a year. It indicates the degree to which the fund’s portfolio has increased or decreased in value, calculated as a percentage.

The maximum drawdown is characterized as a fund’s maximum loss from peak to trough over a given investment period. It is determined by subtracting the fund’s lowest value from its highest value and then dividing the result by the fund’s peak value.

 

Importance of the Calmar Ratio

The Calmar ratio calculates the efficiency of an Investment on a risk-adjusted basis. A high ratio suggests that the return of the investment was not at risk of significant drawdowns. On the other hand, a low ratio indicates that the risk of drawdown is greater.

The Calmar ratio is a significant tool for comparing the return of two separate funds. For example, assume that Fund A has a higher rate of return than Fund B. However, Fund A has a higher Calmar ratio than Fund B. It implies that Fund B is a riskier option. Although an investor stands to earn more if he/she invests in fund B, he/she also stands to risk more.

The Calmar ratio aims to demonstrate the amount of risk required to obtain a return. Since investors have different risk tolerances, the ratio will help investors balance their risk appetite with their investment decisions.

The Calmar ratio smooths out over-achievements and under-achievements in a fund portfolio. Since the performance results are smoothed appropriately, it attracts long-term investment prospects. It can also act as a cautionary signal. If the Calmar ratio is a downtrend, investors must review their portfolio to decide if the downturn is due to increased uncertainty, diminished returns, or other causes.

A major change in the Calmar ratio will highlight the effect of actions made in favor of or against the investment fund. A sudden increase in the ratio is a good indicator of the fund, as it is less vulnerable to risk and price fluctuations and has begun to perform well.

On the contrary, a sudden decrease in the ratio implies that the fund’s performance is affected by either the maximum drawdown for the last three years or the annual rate of return.

The Calmar ratio is also a significant ratio measured during the backtesting of trading strategies. Also, investors can use the Calmar ratio in combination with the Sterling ratio and Sharpe ratio. However, the Calmar ratio cannot be adjusted to various time horizons; hence, portfolios must have the same period of backtesting while using the ratio.

 

More Resources

CFI is the official provider of the global Capital Markets & Securities Analyst (CMSA)™ certification program, designed to help anyone become a world-class financial analyst. To keep advancing your career, the additional resources below will be useful:

  • Coupon Rate
  • Expected Return
  • Investment Horizon
  • Risk-Free Rate

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