What Is the Calmar Ratio?

The Calmar ratio is a comparison of the average annual compounded rate of return and the maximum drawdown risk of commodity trading advisors and hedge funds. The lower the Calmar ratio, the worse the investment performed on a risk-adjusted basis over the specified time period; the higher the Calmar ratio, the better it performed. Generally speaking, the time period used is three years, but this can be higher or lower based on the investment in question.

Calmar Ratio Explained

Developed by Terry W. Young in 1991, the Calmar ratio is short for California Managed Account Reports. The ratio is very similar to the MAR Ratio, which was formulated much earlier. The only difference is that the MAR Ratio is based on data produced from the inception of the investment, whereas the Calmar ratio is typically based on more recent and shorter-term data. Regardless of which ratio is used, investors gain a better insight as to the risk of various investments.

The risk-adjusted nature of the Calmar ratio makes it stand out as one of many possible investment performance measures. When investors must select from a broad universe of possible investments securities, it helps to explicitly consider risk and return as factors of overall investment success. The Calmar ratio is the lesser known of the common risk-adjusted return gauges. Others include the Sortino ratio, Sharpe ratio, and MAR ratios. William Sharpe, of Sharpe ratio fame, won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic SciencesĀ in 1990 for his work in capital asset pricing theory. This speaks to the class of influence measures like the Calmar ratio fall.