J-Curve Effect

Definition of 'J-Curve Effect'


A type of diagram where the curve falls at the outset and eventually rises to a point higher than the starting point, suggesting the letter J. While a J-curve can apply to data in a variety of fields, such as medicine and political science, the J-curve effect is most notable in both economics and private equity funds; after a certain policy or investment is made, an initial loss is followed by a significant gain.

Investopedia explains 'J-Curve Effect'


An example of the J-curve effect is seen in economics when a country's trade balance initially worsens following a devaluation or depreciation of its currency. The higher exchange rate will at first correspond to more costly imports and less valuable exports, leading to a bigger initial deficit or a smaller surplus. Due to the competitive, relatively low-priced exports, however, a country's exports will start to increase. Local consumers will also purchase less of the more expensive imports and focus on local goods. The trade balance eventually improves to better levels compared to before devaluation.
In private equity funds, the J-curve effect occurs when funds experience negative returns for the first several years. This is a common experience, as the early years of the fund include capital drawdowns and an investment portfolio that has yet to mature. If the fund is well managed, it will eventually recover from its initial losses and the returns will form a J-curve: losses in the beginning dip down below the initial value, and later returns show profits above the initial level.



comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Organic Growth

    The growth rate that a company can achieve by increasing output and enhancing sales. This excludes any profits or growth acquired from takeovers, acquisitions or mergers. Takeovers, acquisitions and mergers do not bring about profits generated within the company, and are therefore not considered organic.
  2. Family Limited Partnership - FLP

    A type of partnership designed to centralize family business or investment accounts. FLPs pool together a family's assets into one single family-owned business partnership that family members own shares of. FLPs are frequently used as an estate tax minimization strategy, as shares in the FLP can be transferred between generations, at lower taxation rates than would be applied to the partnership's holdings.
  3. Yield Burning

    The illegal practice of underwriters marking up the prices on bonds for the purpose of reducing the yield on the bond. This practice, referred to as "burning the yield," is done after the bond is placed in escrow for an investor who is awaiting repayment.
  4. Marginal Analysis

    An examination of the additional benefits of an activity compared to the additional costs of that activity. Companies use marginal analysis as a decision-making tool to help them maximize their profits. Individuals unconsciously use marginal analysis to make a host of everyday decisions. Marginal analysis is also widely used in microeconomics when analyzing how a complex system is affected by marginal manipulation of its comprising variables.
  5. Treasury Inflation Protected Securities - TIPS

    A treasury security that is indexed to inflation in order to protect investors from the negative effects of inflation. TIPS are considered an extremely low-risk investment since they are backed by the U.S. government and since their par value rises with inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, while their interest rate remains fixed.
  6. Gilt-Edged Switching

    The selling and repurchasing of certain high-grade stocks or bonds to capture profits. Gilt-edged switching involves gilt-edged security, which can be high-grade stock or bond issued by a financially stable company such as the Blue Chip companies or by certain governments.
Trading Center