Also found in: Acronyms.
Often we subtract from the rate of return on an asset a rate of return from another asset that has similar risk. This gives an abnormal rate of return that shows how the asset performed over and above a benchmark asset with the same risk. We can also use the beta of the asset multiplied by the benchmark return to create a hypothetical asset that has the same risk characteristics. The difference between the asset return and the beta times the benchmark is the risk adjusted return and is also known as the alpha.
The return on an asset or investment relative to the return on assets and investments with similar risk. The risk-adjusted return can help an investor determine whether he/she is extracting the highest possible return for the least possible risk. One way to calculate the risk-adjusted return is to take the Sharpe ratio.