DEFINITION of 'Mean Return'
1. In securities analysis, it is the expected value, or mean, of all the likely returns of investments comprising a portfolio. It is also known as "expected return".
2. In capital budgeting, it is the mean value of the probability distribution of possible returns.
INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Mean Return'
Mean returns attempt to quantify the relationship between the risk of a portfolio of securities and its return. It assumes that while investors have different risk tolerances, rational investors will always seek the maximum rate of return for every level of acceptable risk. It is the mean, or expected, return that investors try to maximize at each level of risk.

Unsystematic Risk
Company or industry specific risk that is inherent in each investment. ... 
Systematic Risk
The risk inherent to the entire market or entire market segment. ... 
Expected Value
Anticipated value for a given investment. In statistics and probability ... 
Portfolio
A grouping of financial assets such as stocks, bonds and cash ... 
Expected Return
The amount one would anticipate receiving on an investment that ... 
Capital Budgeting
The process in which a business determines whether projects such ...

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