Concept

Modern portfolio theory

Summary
Modern portfolio theory (MPT), or mean-variance analysis, is a mathematical framework for assembling a portfolio of assets such that the expected return is maximized for a given level of risk. It is a formalization and extension of diversification in investing, the idea that owning different kinds of financial assets is less risky than owning only one type. Its key insight is that an asset's risk and return should not be assessed by itself, but by how it contributes to a portfolio's overall risk and return. It uses the past variance of asset prices as a proxy for future risk. Economist Harry Markowitz introduced MPT in a 1952 essay, for which he was later awarded a Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences; see Markowitz model. Mathematical model Risk and expected return MPT assumes that investors are risk averse, meaning that given two portfolios that offer the same expected return, investors will prefer the less risky one. Thus, an investor will take on increa
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