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Defining 'Factors' in an Investment Setting

We all praise Sachin’s text-book style square cuts and master strokes, but is that enough to win matches for the Indian cricket team?

Apart from Sachin’s quality batting, we also need Dhoni’s low-volatility advice, Sehwag’s strong scoring momentum, and Dravid’s valuable “wall” for a victory.

When buying property as well, we generally do not make a decision solely based on the property’s price, but also look at its location, safety and amenities among other aspects. Likewise, when making investment decisions, professionals tend to evaluate securities based on various parameters viz. price, volatility, relative value, earnings, growth, and liquidity among others. These different elements help explain the risks and returns of securities and are referred to as factors in the context of investing.