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Treynor Ratio: Evaluating Mutual Funds

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When it comes to investing in mutual funds, evaluating their performance can be challenging. One useful tool for this evaluation is the Treynor Ratio. This metric helps investors understand how well a mutual fund is performing in relation to the risk taken.

Let’s take a closer look at what the Treynor Ratio is, its importance, and how to use it to make better investment decisions.

  • Table of contents
  1. Understanding Treynor Ratio
  2. Importance of Treynor Ratio in evaluating mutual funds
  3. Tips to use Treynor Ratio to evaluate mutual fund
  4. Comparison with other performance metrics

Understanding Treynor Ratio

The Treynor Ratio is a performance metric that measures the returns of a mutual fund in relation to its risk. The concept of Treynor Ratio was introduced by Jack Treynor, and the following formula is used to calculate it:

Treynor Ratio = (Ra − Rf) / β

Ra is the return of the mutual fund.

Rf is the risk-free rate of return.

β (Beta) is the measure of the mutual fund's sensitivity to market movements.

For example, let's say a mutual fund has a return (Ra) of 10%, the risk-free rate (Rf) is 4%, and the fund's Beta (β) is 1.5. Using the formula, this is what the Treynor Ratio would be:

Treynor Ratio = (10% − 4%) / 1.5 = 6% / 1.5 = 4

A higher Treynor Ratio indicates better performance relative to the risk taken.

Importance of Treynor Ratio in evaluating mutual funds

The Treynor Ratio is important because it helps investors determine if the returns of a mutual fund are worth the risk. This is especially useful for comparing mutual funds with different risk levels. A fund with a higher Treynor Ratio is generally preferred as it indicates higher returns per unit of risk. This makes the Treynor Ratio a valuable tool for investors looking to maximise their returns while managing risk.

Tips to use Treynor ratio to evaluate mutual fund

  • Compare similar funds: Use the Treynor Ratio to compare mutual funds within the same category. This ensures you are comparing funds with similar risk profiles.
  • Consider the risk-free rate: The risk-free rate is usually the return on government bonds. Ensure you use the same risk-free rate for all funds you are comparing.
  • Evaluate over time: Look at the Treynor Ratio over different time periods to see how the fund's performance and risk management have changed.
  • Combine with other metrics: While the Treynor Ratio is useful, it is used alongside other metrics like the Sharpe Ratio and Alpha for a comprehensive evaluation.
  • Understand Beta: Ensure that you understand the Beta of the mutual fund, as it affects the Treynor Ratio. A high Beta means higher market sensitivity.

Comparison with other performance metrics

While the Treynor Ratio is valuable, it is important to understand how it differs from other metrics like the Sharpe Ratio and Alpha.

  • Sharpe Ratio: Unlike the Treynor Ratio, the Sharpe Ratio considers total risk (standard deviation) instead of just market risk (Beta). It is useful for evaluating the overall risk-return profile of a mutual fund.
  • Alpha: This measures the excess return of a mutual fund relative to a benchmark index. A positive Alpha indicates outperformance, while a negative Alpha suggests underperformance. Each metric has its strengths, and using them together provides a more complete picture of a mutual fund's performance.


The Treynor Ratio is a valuable tool for evaluating mutual fund performance relative to risk. By understanding and using this ratio, investors can make more informed decisions and choose funds that offer better returns for the risk taken. Remember to use the Treynor Ratio alongside other metrics and consider various factors to ensure a well-rounded evaluation.


How is the risk-free rate determined in Treynor Ratio calculations?
The risk-free rate is typically the return on government bonds, which are considered free of default risk.

What does a high Treynor Ratio indicate about a mutual fund?
A high Treynor Ratio indicates that the mutual fund is providing high returns for the level of risk taken.

Can the Treynor Ratio be negative?
Yes, the Treynor Ratio can be negative if the mutual fund's returns are less than the risk-free rate or if it has taken on significant market risk without corresponding returns.

How does Treynor Ratio differ from Sharpe Ratio?
The Treynor Ratio uses Beta to measure market risk, while the Sharpe Ratio uses standard deviation to measure total risk. The Sharpe Ratio is useful for overall risk-return evaluation, while the Treynor Ratio focuses on market risk.

Is Treynor Ratio suitable for all types of investments?
The Treynor Ratio is more suited for evaluating mutual funds and other investments that are subject to market risk. It may not be as useful for investments with different types of risks.

Mutual Fund investments are subject to market risks, read all scheme related documents carefully.
This document should not be treated as endorsement of the views/opinions or as investment advice. This document should not be construed as a research report or a recommendation to buy or sell any security. This document is for information purpose only and should not be construed as a promise on minimum returns or safeguard of capital. This document alone is not sufficient and should not be used for the development or implementation of an investment strategy. The recipient should note and understand that the information provided above may not contain all the material aspects relevant for making an investment decision. Investors are advised to consult their own investment advisor before making any investment decision in light of their risk appetite, investment goals and horizon. This information is subject to change without any prior notice.