Historical Returns

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Historical Returns'

The past performance of a security or index. Analysts review historical return data when trying to predict future returns, or to estimate how a security might react to a particular situation, such as a drop in consumer demand. Historical returns can also be useful when estimating where future points of data may fall in terms of standard deviations.

BREAKING DOWN 'Historical Returns'

Looking at historical data can provide some insight into how a security or market has reacted to a variety of different variables, from regular economic cycles to sudden world events. Investors looking to interpret historical returns should keep one caveat in mind: you can't assume that the future will be like the past. The older the historical return data is, the more likely it is to be less useful when predicting future returns.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Sacred Cow

    A firmly held mainstream belief that is considered to be true ...
  2. Standard Deviation

    1. A measure of the dispersion of a set of data from its mean. ...
  3. Return

    The gain or loss of a security in a particular period. The return ...
  4. Correlation

    In the world of finance, a statistical measure of how two securities ...
  5. Historical Volatility - HV

    The realized volatility of a financial instrument over a given ...
  6. Record High

    The highest historical price level reached by a security, commodity ...
Related Articles
  1. Markets

    Using Historical Volatility To Gauge Future Risk

    Use these calculations to uncover the risk involved in your investments.
  2. Fundamental Analysis

    Financial Markets: Random, Cyclical Or Both?

    Are the markets random or cyclical? It depends on who you ask. Here, we go over both sides of the argument.
  3. Forex Education

    Introduction to Types of Trading: Technical Traders

    Learn about the different traders and explore in detail the broader approach that looks to the past to predict the future.
  4. Economics

    The Problem With Today’s Headline Economic Data

    Headwinds have kept the U.S. growth more moderate than in the past–including leverage levels and an aging population—and the latest GDP revisions prove it.
  5. Economics

    Explaining the Participation Rate

    The participation rate is the percentage of civilians who are either employed or unemployed and looking for a job.
  6. Fundamental Analysis

    Is India the Next Emerging Markets Superstar?

    With a shift towards manufacturing and services, India could be the next emerging market superstar. Here, we provide a detailed breakdown of its GDP.
  7. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: Guggenheim Enhanced Short Dur

    Find out about the Guggenheim Enhanced Short Duration ETF, and learn detailed information about this fund that focuses on fixed-income securities.
  8. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: iShares Morningstar Small-Cap Value

    Find out about the Shares Morningstar Small-Cap Value ETF, and learn detailed information about this exchange-traded fund that focuses on small-cap equities.
  9. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: iShares MSCI KLD 400 Social

    Find out about the iShares MSCI KLD 400 Social exchange-traded fund, and learn detailed information about its characteristics, suitability and recommendations.
  10. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: iShares Agency Bond

    Find out about the iShares Agency Bond exchange-traded fund, and explore detailed analysis of the ETF that tracks U.S. government agency securities.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What does Value at Risk (VaR) say about the "tail" of the loss distribution?

    The value at risk (VaR) is a statistical measure that assesses, with a degree of confidence, the financial risk associated ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Which investments have the highest historical returns?

    Historically, investments in the stock market have experienced the greatest return. They have performed better than all other ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How have futures performed historically?

    The aggregate historical returns on futures and future-related products has been quite good since data has been tracked, ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What assumptions are made when conducting a t-test?

    The common assumptions made when doing a t-test include those regarding the scale of measurement, random sampling, normality ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What is the utility function and how is it calculated?

    In economics, utility function is an important concept that measures preferences over a set of goods and services. Utility ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What are some of the more common types of regressions investors can use?

    The most common types of regression an investor can use are linear regressions and multiple linear regressions. Regressions ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Election Period

    The period of time during which an investor who owns an extendable or retractable bond must indicate to the issuer whether ...
  2. Shanghai Stock Exchange

    The largest stock exchange in mainland China, the Shanghai Stock Exchange is a nonprofit organization run by the China Securities ...
  3. Dead Cat Bounce

    A temporary recovery from a prolonged decline or bear market, followed by the continuation of the downtrend. A dead cat bounce ...
  4. Bear Market

    A market condition in which the prices of securities are falling, and widespread pessimism causes the negative sentiment ...
  5. Alligator Spread

    An unprofitable spread that occurs as a result of large commissions charged on the transaction, regardless of favorable market ...
  6. Tiger Cub Economies

    The four Southeast Asian economies of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand. Tiger cub economy indicates that ...
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!