Value At Risk - VaR


DEFINITION of 'Value At Risk - VaR'

A statistical technique used to measure and quantify the level of financial risk within a firm or investment portfolio over a specific time frame. Value at risk is used by risk managers in order to measure and control the level of risk which the firm undertakes. The risk manager's job is to ensure that risks are not taken beyond the level at which the firm can absorb the losses of a probable worst outcome.


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BREAKING DOWN 'Value At Risk - VaR'

Value at Risk is measured in three variables: the amount of potential loss, the probability of that amount of loss, and the time frame. For example, a financial firm may determine that it has a 5% one month value at risk of $100 million. This means that there is a 5% chance that the firm could lose more than $100 million in any given month. Therefore, a $100 million loss should be expected to occur once every 20 months.

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