




Skewness is a descriptive statistic that is used in analyzing the distribution of a set of data. In finance and investing, skewness is used in conjunction with other metrics, such as kurtosis and value at risk (VAR). When used to analyze investment returns, skewness measures the asymmetry of those returns. A normally distributed dataset would have a skewness of zero. Investment returns, however, do not usually show a normal distribution.
If investment returns are graphed and they show a positive skewness then the following descriptive statistics have the relation: mean > median > mode. When a distribution exhibits a negative skewness the relation is: mean < median < mode.
Skewness is an important consideration when examining investment returns because it can warn of the potential risk involved based on historical returns. Although a negative skewness can be indicative of a high frequency of relatively small gains, it could also warn of the possibility, though a remote one, of a result that is extremely negative.
Rate this Skewness definition...




Where is the market headed? The answer may surprise you. Find out with the exclusive & Barron's recommended charts of Chart of the Day. 

Popular Terms: labor relations, 1031 exchange, whollyowned subsidiary, margin rate, debt service coverage, phantom income, risk management, exdividend date, retained earnings, reverse mortgage, minority interest, required rate of return, FICO score, quality assurance, diluted share, open position, inflation, covered put, stock split, in escrow, cancelled check, real GDP, dividends payable, APR, liquidity ratio, FTSE, balance sheet, 1035 exchange, EBITDA, irrevocable trust, Key Rate Duration, exdividend, deferred tax, VIX, option premium, average price per share, implied volatility, current ratio, limit order, deferred revenue, per diem, Zero Cost Collar, annual return, 401a, stock market close, command economy, LIBOR, 144a, class C shares


 