Sample

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Sample'

A subset containing the characteristics of a larger population. Samples are used in statistical testing when population sizes are too large for the test to include all possible members or observations. A sample should represent the whole population and not reflect bias toward a specific attribute.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Sample'

A sample is a smaller, manageable version of a larger group. For example, if you wanted to test an investment strategy on past stock data, you would have an enormous number of stocks to test. Instead of testing the strategy on every stock, you would use a sample, which allows you to draw statistical insights from a smaller group of stocks. The sample should not contain any bias, such as the survivorship bias, where you might only use stocks that have survived the entire length of time you wish to test. Choosing a sample randomly should eliminate the possibilities of bias.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Sampling Distribution

    A probability distribution of a statistic obtained through a ...
  2. Sampling Error

    A statistical error to which an analyst exposes a model simply ...
  3. Normal Distribution

    A probability distribution that plots all of its values in a ...
  4. Look-Ahead Bias

    Bias created by the use of information or data in a study or ...
  5. Survivorship Bias

    The tendency for mutual funds with poor performance to be dropped ...
  6. Attribute Bias

    The tendency of stocks selected by a quantitative technique or ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. What are some examples of stratified random sampling?

    Simple random sampling is a sample of individuals that exist in a population; the individuals are randomly selected from ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What are the disadvantages of using a simple random sample to approximate a larger ...

    Simple random sampling statistically measures a subset of individuals selected from a larger group or population to approximate ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What is the difference between the expected return and the standard deviation of ...

    Expected return and standard deviation are two statistical measures that can be used to analyze a portfolio. The expected ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How do you calculate the geometric mean to assess portfolio performance?

    The geometric mean is used to calculate the central tendency of a set of numbers. It is the average of the logarithmic values ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What is the difference between a simple random sample and a stratified random sample?

    Simple random samples and stratified random samples differ in how the sample is drawn from the overall population of data. ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using systematic sampling?

    As a statistical sampling method, systematic sampling is simpler and more straightforward than random sampling. It can also ... Read Full Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Bonds & Fixed Income

    Find The Highest Returns With The Sharpe Ratio

    Learn how to follow the efficient frontier to increase your chances of successful investing.
  2. Active Trading Fundamentals

    Bet Smarter With The Monte Carlo Simulation

    This technique can reduce uncertainty in estimating future outcomes.
  3. Active Trading

    Modern Portfolio Theory: Why It's Still Hip

    See why investors today still follow this old set of principles that reduce risk and increase returns through diversification.
  4. Markets

    A Guide To Conference Board Indicators

    Learn to put the CB data sets to trading use. Each chapter takes you through one of the board's benchmark indicators or surveys, their significance and their applications.
  5. Fundamental Analysis

    What is Quantitative Analysis?

    Quantitative analysis refers to the use of mathematical computations to analyze markets and investments.
  6. Fundamental Analysis

    Understanding the Simple Random Sample

    A simple random sample is a subset of a statistical population in which each member of the subset has an equal probability of being chosen.
  7. Economics

    What is Systematic Sampling?

    Systematic sampling is similar to random sampling, but it uses a pattern for the selection of the sample.
  8. Fundamental Analysis

    Explaining Expected Return

    The expected return is a tool used to determine whether or not an investment has a positive or negative average net outcome.
  9. Fundamental Analysis

    Explaining the Geometric Mean

    The average of a set of products, the calculation of which is commonly used to determine the performance results of an investment or portfolio.
  10. Investing

    The Labor Market Recovery’s Missing Ingredient

    Job creation is running at the fastest pace since the 90s, and there is some evidence that wage growth is finally starting to accelerate, albeit modestly.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Geometric Mean

    The average of a set of products, the calculation of which is commonly used to determine the performance results of an investment ...
  2. Fisher Effect

    An economic theory proposed by economist Irving Fisher that describes the relationship between inflation and both real and ...
  3. Fiduciary

    1. A person legally appointed and authorized to hold assets in trust for another person. The fiduciary manages the assets ...
  4. Expected Return

    The amount one would anticipate receiving on an investment that has various known or expected rates of return. For example, ...
  5. Carrying Value

    An accounting measure of value, where the value of an asset or a company is based on the figures in the company's balance ...
  6. Capital Account

    A national account that shows the net change in asset ownership for a nation. The capital account is the net result of public ...
Trading Center