How Does Investing In Atlas Financial Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:AFH) Impact The Volatility Of Your Portfolio?

Anyone researching Atlas Financial Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:AFH) 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 category is company specific volatility. This can be dealt with by limiting your exposure to any particular stock. 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 mimic the volatility of the market quite closely, while others demonstrate muted, exagerrated or uncorrelated price movements. Some investors use beta as a measure of how much a certain stock is impacted by market risk (volatility). While we should keep in mind that Warren Buffett has cautioned that ‘Volatility is far from synonymous with risk’, beta is still a useful factor to consider. To make good use of it you must first know 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.

See our latest analysis for Atlas Financial Holdings

What AFH’s beta value tells investors

Atlas Financial Holdings has a five-year beta of 1.06. This is reasonably close to the market beta of 1, so the stock has in the past displayed similar levels of volatility to the overall market. While history does not always repeat, this may indicate that the stock price will continue to be exposed to market risk, albeit not overly so. Beta is worth considering, but it’s also important to consider whether Atlas Financial Holdings is growing earnings and revenue. You can take a look for yourself, below.

NasdaqGM:AFH Income Statement Export November 21st 18
NasdaqGM:AFH Income Statement Export November 21st 18

How does AFH’s size impact its beta?

Atlas Financial Holdings is a rather small company. It has a market capitalisation of US$123m, which means it is probably under the radar of most investors. It doesn’t take much money to really move the share price of a company as small as this one. That makes it somewhat unusual that it has a beta value so close to the overall market.

What this means for you:

Since Atlas Financial Holdings has a beta close to one, it will probably show a positive return when the market is moving up, based on history. If you’re trying to generate better returns than the market, it would be worth thinking about other metrics such as cashflows, dividends and revenue growth might be a more useful guide to the future. This article aims to educate investors about beta values, but it’s well worth looking at important company-specific fundamentals such as Atlas Financial Holdings’s financial health and performance track record. I urge you to continue your research by taking a look at the following:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for AFH’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for AFH’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has AFH 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 AFH’s historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other Interesting Stocks: It’s worth checking to see how AFH measures up against other companies on valuation. You could start with this free list of prospective options.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.