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The performance of a predetermined set of securities, used for comparison purposes. Such sets may be based on published indexes or may be customized to suit an investment strategy.
Copyright © 2012, Campbell R. Harvey. All Rights Reserved.


A standard against which a security's performance is compared. A benchmark is usually an index of securities of the same or similar class. Stocks are usually compared against stocks; bonds against bonds, etc. Another type of benchmark considers securities according to industry: a telecommunications stock may be compared to other telecommunications stocks. Likewise, mid-cap securities may be benchmarked against other mid-cap securities. Some indices, such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500, are considered to be benchmarks for the wider economy.
Farlex Financial Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All Rights Reserved


A standard by which something is measured. For example, bond yields are generally compared to benchmark yields on U.S. Treasury securities of similar maturity. Mutual fund performance is often compared to changes in the Standard & Poor's 500 Stock Index.
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.


An investment benchmark is a standard against which the performance of an individual security or group of securities is measured.

For example, the average annual performance of a class of securities over time is a benchmark against which current performance of members of that class and the class itself is measured.

When the benchmark is an index tracking a specific segment of the market, the changing value of the index not only measures the strength or weakness of its segment but is the standard against which the performance of individual investments within the segment are measured.

For example, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index (S&P 500) and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) are the most widely followed benchmarks, or indicators, of the US market for large-company stocks and the funds that invest in those stocks.

There are other indexes that serve as benchmarks for both broader and narrower segments of the US equities markets, of international markets, and of other types of investments such as bonds, mutual funds, and commodities.

Individual investors and financial professionals often gauge their market expectations and judge the performance of individual investments or market sectors against the appropriate benchmarks. In a somewhat different way, the changing yield on the 10-year US Treasury bond is considered a benchmark of investor attitudes.

For example, a lower yield is an indication that investors are putting money into bonds, driving up the price, possibly because they expect stock prices to drop. Conversely, a higher yield indicates investors are putting their money elsewhere.

Originally the term benchmark was a surveyor's mark indicating a specific height above sea level.

Dictionary of Financial Terms. Copyright © 2008 Lightbulb Press, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


A permanent reference mark,usually set in concrete or iron and used to establish the elevation above sea level or certain corners in a surveying system. All other measurements in the area should be checked for accuracy relative to the nearest benchmark, preferably against several nearby benchmarks to establish redundancy.

The Complete Real Estate Encyclopedia by Denise L. Evans, JD & O. William Evans, JD. Copyright © 2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
When California began work on a $300 million courthouse in seismically active San Bernardino County, the structural engineer of record recommended designing the critical facility to a higher performance rating, using an advanced base isolation structural system that would reduce damage and potential downtime after a major earthquake.
Attentional capture is a cognitive psychology theory that is used to understand how supervisors' cognitive focus and employee OCB interact to influence performance ratings. It refers to the phenomenon that stimulus events receive attentional priority on an involuntary basis (Folk & Remington, 1998; Hillstrom & Yantis, 1994; Yantis, 2000).
Branson Moe and Sung (2005) and Branson and Sung (2004) found that performance ratings conducted by both individuals and teams were significantly impacted by the stereotyping effect.
Since the F values drawn from the performance ratings of each aspect are all greater than the critical F value, the null hypothesis is rejected.
Each of the cells is a combination of importance weights ([W.sub.i]) and performance ratings for knowledge management practices ([R.sub.i]).
Recommendation: To better ensure that the Dashboard provides accurate cost and schedule performance ratings, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security should direct the CIO to comply with OMB's guidance on updating the CIO rating as soon as new information becomes available that affects the assessment of a given investment, including when an investment is in the process of a rebaseline.
'and in City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust was rated 'good' for quality of services and 'good' for quality of financial management in the NHS performance ratings for 2008/09.
Terminating four to eight wires, Weidmuller's RJ45 Ethernet connectors offer a performance rating of 10 GIG with full eight-wire termination of 22 to 26 AWG conductors, as well as having 10/100 and GigE performance ratings.
Reuters (London/New York) has entered into an agreement to acquire StarMine (San Francisco, CA), a privately held provider of analytics and equity research information and tools, as well as performance ratings for securities analysts.
Synopsis: New job performance ratings of the nation's executive and legislative leaders are essentially unchanged compared to Gallup's previous readings.
Peak performance ratings of up to 238 Newton-metres and high overload capacity accommodate most power requirements.

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