Anyone researching Mortgage Advice Bureau (Holdings) plc (LON:MAB1) might want to consider the historical volatility of the share price. Modern finance theory considers volatility to be a measure of risk, and there are two main types of price volatility. The first type is company specific volatility. Investors use diversification across uncorrelated stocks to reduce this kind of price volatility across the portfolio. The second sort is caused by the natural volatility of markets, overall. For example, certain macroeconomic events will impact (virtually) all stocks on the market.
Some stocks are more sensitive to general market forces than others. Beta is a widely used metric to measure a stock’s exposure to market risk (volatility). Before we go on, it’s worth noting that Warren Buffett pointed out in his 2014 letter to shareholders that ‘volatility is far from synonymous with risk.’ Having said that, beta can still be rather useful. The first thing to understand about beta is that the beta of the overall market is one. A stock with a beta below one is either less volatile than the market, or more volatile but not corellated with the overall market. In comparison a stock with a beta of over one tends to be move in a similar direction to the market in the long term, but with greater changes in price.
What MAB1’s beta value tells investors
Looking at the last five years, Mortgage Advice Bureau (Holdings) has a beta of 0.88. The fact that this is well below 1 indicates that its share price movements haven’t historically been very sensitive to overall market volatility. This suggests that including it in your portfolio will reduce volatility arising from broader market movements, assuming your portfolio’s weighted average beta is higher than 0.88. Share price volatility is well worth considering, but most long term investors consider the history of revenue and earnings growth to be more important. Take a look at how Mortgage Advice Bureau (Holdings) fares in that regard, below.
Does MAB1’s size influence the expected beta?
Mortgage Advice Bureau (Holdings) is a noticeably small company, with a market capitalisation of UK£367m. Most companies this size are not always actively traded. Companies with market capitalisations around this size often show poor correlation with the broader market because market volatility is overshadowed by company specific events, or other factors. It’s worth checking to see how often shares are traded, because very small companies with very low beta values are often only thinly traded.
What this means for you:
One potential advantage of owning low beta stocks like Mortgage Advice Bureau (Holdings) is that your overall portfolio won’t be too sensitive to overall market movements. However, this can be a blessing or a curse, depending on what’s happening in the broader market. This article aims to educate investors about beta values, but it’s well worth looking at important company-specific fundamentals such as Mortgage Advice Bureau (Holdings)’s financial health and performance track record. I highly recommend you dive deeper by considering the following:
- Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for MAB1’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for MAB1’s outlook.
- Past Track Record: Has MAB1 been consistently performing well irrespective of the ups and downs in the market? Go into more detail in the past performance analysis and take a look at the free visual representations of MAB1’s historicals for more clarity.
- Other Interesting Stocks: It’s worth checking to see how MAB1 measures up against other companies on valuation. You could start with this free list of prospective options.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.
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