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Any way of arranging investments in a hierarchy according to return, risk, or any number of other metrics. For example, one may compare investments to each other to determine which are most likely to outperform, underperform, and perform the same as the market as a whole. Ranking systems may assign categories using letters (say A-E), numbers (1-5), or even with individual names.


Ranking is a method of assigning a value to an investment in relation to comparable investments by using a scale.

The scale might be a straightforward numerical (1 to 5) or alphabetical (A to E) system, or one that also uses stars, checks, or some other icon to convey the evaluation.

Research firms and individual analysts typically establish and publish their criteria -- though not their methodology -- for establishing their rankings.

These criteria, which also differ by investment type, may include quantitative information such as past earnings, price trends, and the issuing company's financial fundamentals, or more qualitative assessments, such as the state of the marketplace.

Ranking can be a useful tool in evaluating potential investments or in reviewing your current portfolio. Before depending on a ranking, though, you'll want to understand how it has been derived and how accurate the system for assigning the values has been over time.

References in periodicals archive ?
The correlation between the rank order found for these at-risk students and the rank order obtained from a large (N = 3,983) student sample in Northern Ireland was determined to be statistically significant.
Eyeballing Table 4 is difficult even with the rank order numbers posted.
The factors rated as "essential" and "very important" were combined to produce the rank order of the surveyed training and technical assistance needs.
CEOs were asked to rank order the importance of various areas of knowledge that the senior tax person should possess.
The two open-ended statements were analyzed with qualitative cluster analysis and a Spearman's Rank Order Correlation.
The rank order of the equipment remained the same; however telecommunications technology increased more than the other areas.
In rank order, the issues are: interest rates; stock market conditions; job growth; inflation; technology; corporate/personal debt; business mergers, federal, state, and local taxes; deficit reduction; and foreign competition.
On each page, the data is presented in two side-by-side tables, one presenting the data in alphabetical order, the other in rank order, so that readers can easily locate data for a particular state and quickly learn where the state ranks among others.
In his final data analysis, Abney compared his social role rank order findings with those of Havighurst's Kansas City Study and found substantial correlations, r(179)=.
It can rank order never pay, write off, voluntary or involuntary churn -- whatever meets the customer's needs.