# What is the Sortino Ratio?

In the world of finance, investors and portfolio managers constantly evaluate the performance of their investments. One way to measure the effectiveness of an investment is by looking at its returns. Its returns alone do not paint a complete picture of the investment’s performance. This is where performance ratios come in handy. One such ratio is the Sortino Ratio. In this article, we will discuss What is the Sortino Ratio? how it differs from other performance ratios, how to calculate it, and how to interpret it.

## What is the Sortino Ratio?

The Sortino Ratio is a performance ratio that measures the risk-adjusted return of an investment. Unlike other ratios that use standard deviation to calculate risk. The Sortino Ratio uses downside deviation. Downside deviation measures the volatility of only the negative returns of an investment. The Sortino Ratio is named after Frank A. Sortino, a Professor of Finance at the University of San Francisco, who developed the ratio in 1980.

## How is the Sortino Ratio different from other performance ratios?

The most commonly used performance ratio is the Sharpe Ratio. The Sharpe Ratio measures the excess return of an investment relative to the risk-free rate.  The higher the Sharpe Ratio, the better the investment’s risk-adjusted return. The Sharpe Ratio treats both positive and negatively. Its deviations from the mean return as equally risky. This means that an investment with a high Sharpe Ratio could still have significant downside risk.

On the other hand, the Sortino Ratio only considers downside risk. It measures the excess return of an investment relative to the risk-free rate, divided by the downside deviation of the investment’s returns. The Sortino Ratio penalizes investments that have a high level of downside risk, even if they have a high overall return.

## How to calculate the Sortino Ratio?

To calculate the Sortino Ratio, you need the investment’s returns and the risk-free rate. The formula for the Sortino Ratio is as follows:

Sortino Ratio = (R – T) / D

Where:

R = the average return on the investment

T = the target return (usually the risk-free rate)

D = the downside deviation of the investment’s returns

The formula calculates the excess return of the investment relative to the risk-free rate, divided by the downside deviation. The higher the Sortino Ratio, the better the investment’s risk-adjusted return.

## How to interpret the Sortino Ratio?

We interpret the Sortino Ratio in the same way as the Sharpe Ratio. A good Sortino Ratio is 1 or higher, while a poor one is less than 1. However, the Sortino Ratio does not reward investments with high positive volatility, unlike the Sharpe Ratio. This means that an investment must have a low level of downside risk to achieve a high Sortino Ratio.

## Advantages of the Sortino Ratio:

The Sortino Ratio is a more refined measure of risk-adjusted return than the Sharpe Ratio. Focusing only on downside risk gives investors. It gives a better idea of how an investment performs in adverse market conditions. It is also more suitable for investments with high levels of downside risk, such as hedge funds or investments in emerging markets.

## Limitations of the Sortino Ratio:

Like any performance ratio, the Sortino Ratio has its limitations. One of its main limitations is that it only considers downside risk. This means that investments with high levels of positive volatility may be penalized, even if they have a high overall return. The Sortino Ratio also assumes that returns are normally distributed, which may not be the case for all investments.

## Using the Sortino Ratio in portfolio management:

The Sortino Ratio can be used in portfolio management to evaluate the risk-adjusted return of a portfolio. By calculating the Sortino Ratio of each investment in the portfolio. The investors can identify which investments are contributing the most to the portfolio’s risk-adjusted return. This information can be used to rebalance the portfolio and reduce its overall risk.

## Interpreting the Sortino Ratio in different contexts:

The context in which we use the Sortino Ratio may change its interpretation. For example, we may consider a Sortino Ratio of 1 good for a low-risk asset class such as bonds. We may consider it poor for a high-risk asset class such as stocks. Investors should consider the risk profile of the investment and market conditions when interpreting the Sortino Ratio.

## Other risk-adjusted performance ratios:

Sortino Ratio is not the only risk-adjusted performance ratio used in finance. Other popular ratios include the Information Ratio. Which measures the excess return of an investment relative to its benchmark. The Treynor Ratio measures the excess return of an investment relative to its systematic risk. Investors may use different ratios depending on their investment objectives and risk preferences.

## Taking Everything into Account

Sortino Ratio is a useful performance ratio that measures the risk-adjusted return of an investment. Focusing on downside risk gives investors a more accurate picture of an investment’s performance in adverse market conditions. Investors should also consider the limitations of the ratio. It uses in conjunction with other measures of investment performance. To get a complete picture of an investment’s risk-adjusted return.