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# What Is a Risk-Free Rate of Return? Definition & Example

Interest rates are a big deal for businesses. They can affect the success of your business in many ways, from how much you pay on loans to how much you earn on savings. But what is an interest rate? And why does it matter?

An interest rate is an amount charged by a lender to a borrower for borrowing money or something else of value. The risk-free rate of return is used as a benchmark when evaluating investments. It helps to determine whether they’re worth pursuing. It’s also important because it allows us to compare different investments with each other. We can then make informed decisions about which ones we should pursue first.

If you want to know more about this topic, keep reading! It explains everything there is to know about risk-free interest rates so that you can understand them better than ever before!

Here’s What We’ll Cover:

What Is a Risk-Free Rate of Return?

Today's Risk-Free Rate of Return in the UK

How Is Risk-Free Rate Calculated?

Is the Risk-Free Rate of Return Really "Risk-Free"?

What Is CAPM?

Key Takeaways

## What Is a Risk-Free Rate of Return?

The risk-free rate of return is a crucial benchmark when evaluating investments. It helps determine whether they're worth pursuing and allows us to compare different types with each other, so you can make informed decisions about which ones might be best for your portfolio!

A risk-free rate of return is the theoretical rate of return of a risk-free asset.

### Examples of a Risk-Free Rate of Return

The risk-free rate of return does not include any risks associated with an investment. This makes it a good benchmark for comparison among other investments.

Here is an example of risk-free rates of return in action in the UK. The current yield on One-Year UK Government Bonds is 1.06%.

This means that for each £100 invested, the government pays out £1.06 annually for one year. The term "yield" refers to the interest paid and expressed as an annual percentage rate (APR). If you invest in these bonds, it's basically risk-free for the stated return.

## Today's Risk-Free Rate of Return in the UK

In the United Kingdom, fixed-term deposits with a maturity of three years or less carry a risk-free rate of return. The rates may be higher or lower depending on what is going on with interest rates throughout the world.

If you're interested in investing in government bonds, it helps to check for market updates. You can check these on a site like Bloomberg.

## How Is Risk-Free Rate Calculated?

The formula for the risk-free rate of return is simple. It's based on what investors are willing to earn for taking no risk at all.

The value of a risk-free rate can be figured out by subtracting the current inflation rate from the total bond yield. This would apply for the duration of the bond.

Investors demand extra compensation to take on additional risk, so this is used to represent the risk-free rate of return.

## Is the Risk-Free Rate of Return Really "Risk-Free"?

The risk-free rate benchmark is a great, simple way to compare investments. It's important to remember that there are no truly "riskless" investments. This is because all investments have some degree of risk, even if it's minimal.

## What Is CAPM?

CAPM means the "Capital Asset Pricing Model." It's a model for determining the expected return on an investment. Like the risk-free rate, it gives us a benchmark for comparison. We can make informed decisions about which ones are worth our investment.

CAPM incorporates the risk-free rate of return and the market's expected returns. It provides a value for the required expected return on an investment in any given company. It helps provide us with a way to narrow down our list of potential investments when we're putting together our stock portfolio.

A Market Risk Premium is also another term for investor’s return above the risk-free rate.

The "beta," which is the return of a share or stock in relation to the risk-free rate, is used when calculating CAPM.

### CAPM and Risk-Free Rate of Return

When the time horizon for an investment is more than one year, it's best to use CAPM in conjunction with the risk-free rate. This is because it's a better way of determining what investors can expect to gain from an investment.

For shorter periods and investments, the risk-free rate of return is more applicable on its own. This is because there isn't enough time for any extra information on risks or volatility to be relevant.

### What Does Alpha in CAPM Mean?

Alpha is a measure of the share or stock's risk-adjusted performance. It measures how much return you can expect to get on average for taking on that level of risk.

It's calculated by subtracting beta from 1, then dividing it by beta.

### Does CAPM Measure Unsystematic Risk?

The systematic risk component in CAPM is the market, which includes all of its stocks. This does not include unsystematic risk, such as specific company risks.

### What is the Difference Between CAPM Beta and Alpha?

Alphas are used to measure portfolio performance. They aren't used to directly determine your equity returns, like betas do.

Betas are measured for individual stocks or shares, while alphas are evaluated for portfolios of multiple stocks or shares.

## Key Takeaways

The risk-free rate of return is an important benchmark for investors to use when deciding whether or not they want to take on additional risks. When you're thinking about investing, the first thing you may consider is what your appetite for risk is. It's also important to consider how much reward you can expect in exchange for that level of investment.

It's good to compare longer term investments using CAPM. CAPM takes into account both systematic and unsystematic risks involved. The article above should give you a good overview of this concept as well as some ways that you can apply it in real life.

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