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  • Writer's pictureAlpesh Patel

Invest Wisely: How to Choose Stocks That Bounce Back Faster and Fall Less

Updated: Apr 26

When searching for stocks characterised by low drawdowns and rapid recoveries, your focus should be on metrics that reflect a stock’s risk-adjusted returns and its sensitivity to market movements. 

With access to data on volatility, beta, alpha, and the Sortino ratio, you can effectively gauge these characteristics. 

1. Volatility

Volatility measures the degree of variation in a stock's price over time, typically calculated as the standard deviation of the stock's returns. Lower volatility is generally preferred if you are looking for stocks with low drawdowns. Stocks with lower volatility are less likely to experience sharp drops in value, which translates into shallower drawdowns.

2. Beta

Beta reflects a stock's sensitivity to market movements. A beta less than 1 indicates that the stock is less volatile than the market; thus, it is likely to experience smaller swings, both upward and downward. For your purposes, stocks with a lower beta are preferable because they are less likely to suffer large drawdowns during market downturns.

3. Alpha

Alpha measures a stock’s performance relative to a benchmark index, indicating how well the stock performs independently of market trends. A positive alpha suggests that the stock has outperformed the market, adjusting for its risk (as measured by beta). High alpha stocks might not only recover quickly but can potentially offer returns above market averages during recovery periods.

4. Sortino Ratio

The Sortino ratio is a variation of the Sharpe ratio, which also measures risk-adjusted returns. However, while the Sharpe ratio considers both upward and downward volatility, the Sortino ratio focuses only on the downward volatility or downside risk. A higher Sortino ratio indicates a favorable risk-adjusted return when only negative returns are considered. This metric is particularly useful for identifying stocks that perform well during downturns and minimize negative returns.

How to Apply These Metrics

To identify stocks that meet your criteria of low drawdowns and quick recovery times, you would ideally look for:

- Low Volatility and Beta: These stocks are less likely to experience significant drops, contributing to lower drawdowns

- High Alpha:This suggests that the stock can outperform the market, particularly useful during and after downturns.

- High Sortino Ratio: Indicates efficiency in managing losses and highlights that any declines are not as severe, and recoveries are stronger.

Practical Steps

1. Filter Stocks: Begin by filtering out stocks with high volatility and beta higher than 1. This step helps in narrowing down to less risky stocks.

2. Rank by Alpha and Sortino Ratio: Among the filtered stocks, prioritize those with the highest alpha and Sortino ratios. 

3. Historical Performance Review: Look at historical performance during different market conditions to see how these stocks have actually performed in terms of drawdowns and recovery periods.

Alpesh Patel OBE


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