# Correlation

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## Definition of 'Correlation'

In finance, correlation is a measure of the degree to which two variables move in relation to each other. It is a statistical measure that assesses the strength of a linear relationship between two variables. The correlation coefficient is a number between -1 and 1, where -1 indicates a perfect negative correlation, 0 indicates no correlation, and 1 indicates a perfect positive correlation.

Correlation is important in finance because it can help investors to understand the risk of an investment. For example, if two stocks have a high correlation, then they are likely to move in the same direction. This means that if one stock goes up, the other stock is likely to go up as well. This can be beneficial for investors who want to reduce their risk by diversifying their portfolios. However, if two stocks have a low correlation, then they are less likely to move in the same direction. This means that if one stock goes up, the other stock is not as likely to go up. This can be beneficial for investors who want to increase their returns by taking on more risk.

There are a number of different ways to calculate correlation. The most common method is Pearson's correlation coefficient. Pearson's correlation coefficient is a measure of the linear relationship between two variables. It is calculated by taking the covariance of the two variables and dividing it by the product of their standard deviations.

Another common method of calculating correlation is Spearman's rank correlation coefficient. Spearman's rank correlation coefficient is a measure of the monotonic relationship between two variables. It is calculated by taking the difference between the ranks of the two variables and dividing it by the sum of the ranks.

The choice of which correlation coefficient to use depends on the nature of the data. Pearson's correlation coefficient is more appropriate for data that is normally distributed. Spearman's rank correlation coefficient is more appropriate for data that is not normally distributed.

Correlation is a useful tool for understanding the relationship between two variables. However, it is important to remember that correlation does not imply causation. Just because two variables are correlated does not mean that one variable causes the other.

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