levels of risk

The modern portfolio theory aims at minimizing risk related to an asset portfolio while maintaining same returns. The risk is also known as variance, standard deviation or volatility while the expected returns are also known as the mean return. The discussion remains incomplete without reference to SML and CML and how they indicate different graphical information.

sml determines

As a result, they expect a handsome return on their wealth as per the capital market line exhibits graphically. In contrast, SML defines both efficient and non-efficient portfolios. Security Market Line shows the relationship between the required return on individual security as a function of systematic, non-diversifiable risk.

Absence of risk-free asset − The CML concept is built on the principle of the existence of risk-free assets. In reality, there is hardly any asset that is a risk-free asset. SML considers only systematic risk, while CML considers both systematic and non-systematic risk.

CML VS SML – Capital Market Line and Security Market Line| Finance

If you want to avoid some of the troubles that may come your way, it is important for you to understand stocks, marketplace business, prices, and returns. To do this accurately and effectively, two key terms are CML and SML . These two lines can be found on any chart as they help track both profits from a company’s sales products along with their costs.

However, some people find it more convenient to refer to the https://1investing.in/ for measuring the risk factors. In order to get comparable data for risk free rate of return, average rate of return in the market and beta value, the CAPM model assumes single-period horizon for all transactions. Typically, one year period is utilized for calculating all the inputs, although this period can be changed basis requirement. While calculating the returns, the expected return of the portfolio for CML is shown along the Y- axis. On the contrary, for SML, the return of the securities is shown along the Y-axis. The standard deviation of the portfolio is shown along the X-axis for CML, whereas, the Beta of security is shown along the X- axis for SML.

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On the other hand, if, however, the return offered by the asset is less than the market return for a given level of systematic risk, that means it is overpriced. Moreover, such assets will reflect/show in the graph below the security market line. This is also a line in the graph determining your rate of return but there’s a catch in this one.

CML VS SML: Know The Actual Difference

Mean-cml vs sml analysis was pioneered by Harry Markowitz and James Tobin. The efficient frontier of optimal portfolios was identified by Markowitz in 1952, and James Tobin included the risk-free rate to modern portfolio theory in 1958. William Sharpe then developed the CAPM in the 1960s, and won a Nobel prize for his work in 1990, along with Markowitz and Merton Miller. In SML, the formula to calculate slope is (Rm – Rf), while the formula in CML is (Rm– Rf) / σm. The slope in SML tells the difference between the required rate of return and the risk-free rate.

The CML shows the level of risk and return for a portfolio of securities, whereas SML shows the level of risk and return for individual securities. The security market line is a graph that is drawn with the values obtained from the capital asset pricing model . It is a theoretical presentation of expected returns of assets that are based on systematic risk. It can be seen that while y-axis represent expected rate of return for a security in the market, y-axis represent beta of the security value. In other words, it represents the risk that cannot be diversified and cannot be rid of. The SML is also known as the Characteristic Line and indicates all the securities present in the market and their corresponding beta values or systemic risk contribution to the portfolio.


However, if the sharp ratio is below CML you should sell your shares/assets. For an investor who underestimates or overestimates, this kind of calculation system is a systematic risk. On the other hand, SML determines both functioning and non-functioning portfolios. On the other hand, the Beta coefficient determines the risk factors of SML. The CML intercepts the vertical axis at point Rf, i.e., the risk-free rate.


The CML is a line that is used to show the rates of return, which depends on risk-free rates of return and levels of risk for a specific portfolio. SML, which is also called a Characteristic Line, is a graphical representation of the market’s risk and return at a given time. One of the differences between CML and SML, is how the risk factors are measured.

Stocks offer guaranteed returns, bonds offer higher potential returns.

  • Although CML tells you how quickly the input will return your value.
  • One of the differences between CML and SML, is how the risk factors are measured.
  • Capital Market Line is the graphical representation of CAPM which shows the relationship between the expected return on the efficient portfolio and their total risk.
  • The CML intercepts the vertical axis at point Rf, i.e., the risk-free rate.
  • Security Market line with systematic risk is measured by Beta.
  • However, some people find CML more convenient to measure risk factors.

In philosophy, profiles that rely on CML have excellence in terms of risks and rebound and give good results. The CAL arranges the slab of non-risky shares and dangerous shares for the dealers. The purpose of investors is to increase returns while increasing market risk. However, it very effectively represents the total risk-free return of all investment portfolios.

The above pages discussed some of the most widely used financial management concepts, such as CAPM, diversification, efficient portfolios, SML and CML. In this post I address one common question students have about the capital asset pricing model . Under the standard assumptions and in the presence of a risk free investment, the capital asset pricing model can be described using two equations. Low variance reluctant dealers will go for profiles with bigger CML and expect a big rebound and more risks.

Formula and Calculation of the Capital Market Line (CML)

Further, it can be easily used to compare two or more securities and take decisions regarding the same. Is incomplete without reference to Modern Portfolio Theory and models such as CAPM. The following pages attempt to explain these key concepts and also explain minute differences and reasons for popularity. Well, the Capital Market Line is considered to be superior when measuring the risk factors. Conversely, surveillance that is conspired beyond the CML or SML will achieve rebounds that are way bigger than the risks taken. And if placed beneath CML or SML, then the situation is vice versa.

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In a broader sense, the SML shows the expected market returns at a given level of market risk for marketable security. The overall level of risk is measured by the beta of the security against the market level of risk. Basically, SML tells about the market risk in an investment or identifies a point beyond which an investor may run into risk. Or, we can say it tells the relation between the required rate of return of security as a function of the non-diversifiable risk . In common words, it determines the degree of your profit in the market as per your investment. CML primarily shows the trade-off between risk and return for functioning portfolios.

Key Difference…

This will always be a combination of the risk free security and the market portfolio. Hence, the CML will intersect the second axis at the risk free rate and go through the market portfolio. It is important to note that all portfolios on the CML offer a superior risk-reward profile to any portfolio on the efficient frontier.

market line graphs

The Capital Market Line is a graphical representation of all the portfolios that optimally combine risk and return. CML is a theoretical concept that gives optimal combinations of a risk-free asset and the market portfolio. The CML is superior to Efficient Frontier because it combines risky assets with risk-free assets.

Hence, while all portfolios on the CML are efficient, the CML does not contain all efficient portfolios. A beta value that’s greater than one represents a risk level greater than the market average, and a beta value of less than one represents a risk level that is less than the market average. The beta of a security is a measure of itssystematic risk, which cannot be eliminated by diversification.

Thus the conclusion is, you purchase when the acute ratio is beyond CML, and you sell if the ratio is beneath CML. Capital Market Line shows the relationship between the expected return on efficient portfolio and their total risk. • The security market is the representation of the CAPM model in a graphical format.

While SML represents CAPM graphically, CML represent efficient portfolios and minimum variance portfolios graphically. Explain and graphically depict how security market line is different from Capital Market Line . Identify and discuss the importance of minimum variance portfolio? Why CAPM equation might be more relevant than other equations when calculation required rate of return. The efficient frontier comprises investment portfolios that offer the highest expected return for a specific level of risk.

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