A portfolio that provides the greatest expected return for a given level of risk (i.e., standard deviation), or, equivalently, the lowest risk for a given expected return.
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Markowitz Efficient Portfolio
In Markowitz Portfolio Theory, a portfolio with the highest level of return at a given level of risk. One who carries such a portfolio cannot further diversify to increase the expected rate of return without accepting a greater amount of risk. Likewise one cannot decrease his/her exposure to risk without proportionately decreasing the expected return. A Markowitz efficient portfolio is determined mathematically and plotted on a chart with risk as the x-axis and expected return as the y-axis. See also: Markowitz efficient set of portfolios, Homogeneous expectations assumption.
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A combination of investments that offer either the highest possible yield at a given risk level or the lowest possible risk at a given yield level. Although the concept of an efficient portfolio is important to understand, in practice it is more academic than practical.
Wall Street Words: An A to Z Guide to Investment Terms for Today's Investor by David L. Scott. Copyright © 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. All rights reserved.