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An introduction to security returns

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  • Adrian Buckley
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    Abstract

    The equity premium - the difference between the return achievable from investment in the equity market (RM) and the risk-free rate of return (RF)- plays an important part in corporate finance. The expression equity premium (sometimes referred to as the equity risk premium) is used to denote the ex ante expectation of investors. The term excess return refers to the ex post achievement of stock returns over and above the risk-free return. If we compare US and UK returns, we find that total returns, real returns and the value of (RM - RF) are all marginally higher for the UK. Summarized evidence appears in Table 1 and Table 6. Such greater returns may be due to an increased risk premium related to increasing unexpected inflation. Particularly important in estimating the equity risk premium is whether excess returns are measured using a geometric or an arithmetic mean return. To a significant extent, this question revolves around mean reversion in stock returns. Evidence of mean reversion is substantial, although it cannot be proved unequivocally. Given the weight of evidence of mean reversion, there may be a strong case for the use of a geometric mean with an equity premium of between 3% and 5% - or even less.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal The European Journal of Finance.

    Volume (Year): 5 (1999)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 165-180

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:eurjfi:v:5:y:1999:i:3:p:165-180

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    Keywords: Equity Premium; Equity Risk Premium; Excess Return; Geometric Mean; Arithmetic Mean; Mean Reversion;

    References

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    1. Andrew W. Lo, A. Craig MacKinlay, 1988. "Stock Market Prices do not Follow Random Walks: Evidence from a Simple Specification Test," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 1(1), pages 41-66.
    2. Josef Lakonishok & Robert W. Vishny & Andrei Shleifer, 1993. "Contrarian Investment, Extrapolation, and Risk," NBER Working Papers 4360, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1988. "Permanent and Temporary Components of Stock Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 246-73, April.
    4. Kim, Myung Jig & Nelson, Charles R & Startz, Richard, 1991. "Mean Reversion in Stock Prices? A Reappraisal of the Empirical Evidence," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(3), pages 515-28, May.
    5. R. Mehra & E. Prescott, 2010. "The equity premium: a puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1401, David K. Levine.
    6. Poterba, James M. & Summers, Lawrence H., 1988. "Mean reversion in stock prices : Evidence and Implications," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 27-59, October.
    7. De Bondt, Werner F M & Thaler, Richard, 1985. " Does the Stock Market Overreact?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, American Finance Association, vol. 40(3), pages 793-805, July.
    8. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1992. " The Cross-Section of Expected Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, American Finance Association, vol. 47(2), pages 427-65, June.
    9. Haugen, Robert A. & Baker, Nardin L., 1996. "Commonality in the determinants of expected stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 401-439, July.
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    Cited by:
    1. Hans Eijgenhuijsen & Adrian Buckley, 1999. "An overview of returns in Europe," The European Journal of Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(3), pages 276-297.
    2. Wolfgang Bessler, 1999. "Equity returns, bond returns, and the equity premium in the German capital market," The European Journal of Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(3), pages 186-201.

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