Security Market Line (SML) Definition and Characteristics

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Definition of 'Security Market Line (SML) Definition and Characteristics'

The Security Market Line (SML) is a graphical representation of the relationship between the expected return and the beta of a security or portfolio. It is a key concept in modern portfolio theory and is used to determine the equilibrium price of an asset.

The SML is derived from the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM), which states that the expected return of an asset is equal to the risk-free rate plus a risk premium that is proportional to the asset's beta. The risk premium is the additional return that investors require to compensate them for the risk of investing in the asset.

The SML is a linear function with the risk-free rate on the y-axis and beta on the x-axis. The slope of the SML is equal to the market risk premium, which is the difference between the expected return of the market and the risk-free rate.

The SML can be used to compare the relative risk and return of different assets. An asset with a higher beta has a higher expected return, but also a higher risk. An asset with a lower beta has a lower expected return, but also a lower risk.

The SML is a useful tool for investors who are looking to build a diversified portfolio. By investing in a variety of assets with different betas, investors can reduce their overall risk without sacrificing too much return.

The SML is a dynamic model, which means that it can change over time. The risk-free rate and the market risk premium can both change, which will cause the SML to shift. Investors should be aware of these changes and how they can affect their portfolios.

The SML is a fundamental concept in modern portfolio theory and is an important tool for investors. By understanding the SML, investors can make more informed decisions about their investments.

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