Alpha equation

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to Alpha equation: Beta equation

Alpha equation

Regression usually run over 36-60 months of data: Return-Treasury bill= alpha + beta (S&P 500 - Treasury bill) + error. The alpha is the intercept. Note that the benchmark does not necessarily have to be the S&P 500. A mutual fund specializing in international investment might be benchmarked to a broader world market index, such as the MSCI World Index.


1. The measure of the performance of a portfolio after adjusting for risk. Alpha is calculated by comparing the volatility of the portfolio and comparing it to some benchmark. The alpha is the excess return of the portfolio over the benchmark. It is important to Markowitz portfolio theory and is used as a technical indicator.

2. The excess return that a portfolio makes over and above what the capital asset pricing model estimates.