What is beta in stocks?

In the nearly 25 years of watching the market, I learned to look at when investing is the beta in stocks.  It is not the only thing I look for but is a good indication of share price volatility which is important to conservative investors like myself.

What is beta in stocks?

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The short answer is that is It is the stock’s volatility in relation to the overall market. Beta in stocks is important to look at because it tells you how much a certain stock moves up or down when compared to an index such as NASDAQ or Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA).

For example, if a stock has a beta of 1.0, then it should theoretically move up and down the same amount as the index. A beta below 1.0 means that the stock tends to move less than the overall market. If a stock has a beta of less than 0.8, it’s considered low-volatility, and if it’s greater than 1.0, then it’s considered high volatility.

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So if a stock has a beta of 0.8, that means the stock crashes 20% when the S&P 500 crashes 10%. This is also called beta risk. The lower the number, the less volatile the stock relative to the broader market. So what should you do with this information? Buy low volatility stocks and hold for recuperating lost losses from high volatility stocks. As always, consult with your financial advisor before making any decisions about your investments.

How to calculate beta in stocks

Beta is not necessarily an indicator of the stock’s performance but rather a relative measure of risk. To derive a stock’s beta, you need to calculate the covariance between the stock’s returns and returns on the benchmark index.

For example, if a company’s stock had an alpha of 5% and the market index had an alpha of 2%, then that company’s beta would be 3 (5%-2%=3%). If you’re using the historical method, you’ll multiply the average daily return of the company by its asset turnover (assets/market value). Then subtract 1 from this number and divide it by its standard deviation.

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Sound confusing?  Don’t worry about doing the beta calculation because most financial websites like tradingview.com or finviz.com provide the beta for stocks.

Low Beta Stocks List

Are you looking for a list of low beta stocks? You are in luck. Below is a list of 59 stocks that have a low beta (less than 0.7).

Ticker Company YTD Return Beta 1-Year Beta 3-Year Best Monthly Return Worst Monthly Return Max Drawdown 1-Year 1-Month Return 3-Month Return 1-Year Return 2-Year Return 3-Year Return 5-Year Return 10-Year Return
ABCM Abcam -7.10% 0.26 0.24 33.00% -20.90% -23.80% -6.80% -14.20% 45.20% 21.90% 12.10% 141.60% – 
AGI Alamos Gold 0.50% 0.57 0.19 50.60% -24.40% -38.10% 9.50% 6.40% 34.20% 81.40% 56.60% 53.50% -35.70%
ATO Atmos Energy 6.30% 0.52 0.69 15.30% -13.00% -23.10% 8.10% 15.80% -2.90% 4.20% 29.10% 54.20% 302.80%
BDX Becton, Dickinson 4.30% 0.37 0.64 16.50% -14.90% -22.00% 8.10% 1.30% 4.40% 8.50% 20.00% 76.20% 277.00%
BIO.B Bio-Rad Laboratories 4.70% 0.05 0.12 24.00% -16.40% -18.90% 0.00% -0.80% 47.50% 96.00% 140.50% 340.90% 382.90%
BKI Black Knight -16.30% 0.63 0.68 21.50% -16.10% -24.50% -4.80% -12.70% 14.60% 35.20% 55.20% 149.70% – 
BSM Black Stone Minerals 52.90% 0.92 0.7 35.60% -47.30% -26.90% 7.20% 29.30% 92.70% -31.90% -26.10% 0.60% – 
BTG B2Gold -8.70% 0.59 0.32 56.70% -22.70% -42.20% 9.60% -1.70% 14.00% 91.40% 83.30% 200.20% 43.50%
BWXT BWX Technologies 12.80% 0.79 0.68 21.40% -24.40% -20.30% 5.30% 11.10% 36.40% 33.50% 5.80% 117.90% 241.20%
CIXX CI Financial 25.10% 0.42 0.46 12.50% -41.20% -20.70% 2.90% 19.20% 75.20% 19.70% -18.30% -15.10% -7.30%
CQP Cheniere Energy Partners 20.10% 0.77 0.67 32.70% -21.80% -20.30% -5.10% 8.70% 52.10% 11.20% 71.00% 93.00% 329.40%
CSGS CSG Systems Intl 4.40% 0.83 0.68 19.50% -18.30% -25.00% -2.00% 8.00% -0.60% 5.80% 4.30% 3.30% 131.10%
CUBE CubeSmart 22.20% 0.61 0.63 15.10% -15.70% -12.20% 6.60% 21.50% 64.20% 39.10% 64.40% 56.80% 447.50%
DISCB Discovery 157.20% -0.86 -0.1 119.70% -36.20% -50.90% 5.50% 119.00% 172.10% 140.80% 141.60% 192.50% 300.90%
EGOV NIC 31.90% 0.66 0.61 31.40% -12.90% -24.50% 0.40% 25.10% 48.00% 106.20% 155.80% 113.40% 250.50%
ESLT Elbit Systems 9.20% 0.75 0.68 12.40% -14.50% -25.60% 1.30% 1.80% 18.10% -0.10% 20.40% 53.20% 210.50%
FCN FTI Consulting 30.90% 0.31 0.51 27.10% -16.00% -30.80% 15.50% 27.80% 10.70% 81.60% 191.30% 304.30% 280.30%
GRP.U Granite REIT 3.20% 0.56 0.64 18.80% -19.10% -8.40% 2.30% 6.80% 53.10% 44.70% 81.40% 183.90% – 
GSK GlaxoSmithKline 4.40% 0.53 0.61 13.00% -13.30% -21.80% 5.20% 0.70% 0.00% 2.50% 8.30% 14.40% 57.80%
HLI Houlihan Lokey 0.00% 0.73 0.63 20.20% -13.80% -17.10% -2.00% -5.50% 22.90% 49.80% 61.20% 202.20% – 
ICUI ICU Medical -2.20% 0.65 0.64 17.50% -36.60% -25.40% 1.40% -5.30% -1.30% -10.70% -18.00% 101.70% 368.10%
JNJ Johnson & Johnson 3.30% 0.51 0.65 16.50% -11.70% -11.40% 0.80% 1.20% 12.40% 25.00% 34.20% 68.20% 260.10%
K Kellogg 2.50% 0.31 0.43 11.20% -12.20% -19.80% 5.20% 8.00% 4.00% 16.60% 11.70% -2.30% 57.50%
KGC Kinross Gold 2.50% 0.67 0.29 63.80% -24.80% -37.80% 8.90% 4.70% 26.80% 116.70% 98.50% 83.60% -50.20%
KL Kirkland Lake Gold -7.40% 0.59 0.28 41.70% -20.30% -42.30% 10.10% -5.10% 6.40% 22.50% 129.40% 507.20% 164.70%
KT KT 15.30% 0.64 0.54 32.40% -21.20% -12.90% 6.60% 17.40% 49.20% 6.30% -0.80% 1.30% -16.30%
LMNX Luminex 59.40% 0.17 0.65 33.30% -31.40% -48.70% 9.20% 32.70% 23.60% 59.80% 75.40% 94.00% 101.00%
LOPE Grand Canyon Education 23.90% 0.89 0.69 31.80% -21.90% -24.80% 5.10% 28.50% 53.60% -2.60% 5.40% 169.10% 743.00%
LRN Stride 51.20% 0.81 0.27 58.40% -32.20% -59.50% 13.60% 35.40% 40.00% -13.20% 133.90% 220.30% -6.10%
MASI Masimo -9.20% 0.59 0.69 22.20% -16.70% -22.40% 3.80% -6.90% 21.50% 79.10% 184.10% 471.10% 653.80%
MO Altria Group 29.20% 0.74 0.68 14.90% -13.90% -18.10% 6.20% 28.80% 37.70% 7.00% 0.70% 12.50% 228.90%
MRK Merck & Co -4.70% 0.59 0.68 10.50% -14.70% -17.00% 1.40% -5.10% -2.80% 4.50% 47.70% 59.20% 218.90%
MRNA Moderna 62.40% 0.75 0.22 127.60% -26.20% -42.70% 18.10% 30.80% 355.60% 556.70% –  –  – 
MUSA Murphy USA 8.80% 0.63 0.69 38.10% -16.20% -15.80% 8.70% 14.80% 39.30% 69.60% 123.20% 139.80% – 
NICE NICE -16.70% 0.77 0.68 17.30% -14.70% -23.70% 1.80% -13.60% 48.20% 86.60% 151.20% 275.10% 574.80%
NLOK NortonLifeLock 4.30% 0.74 0.63 21.00% -24.90% -25.20% -0.10% 6.60% 12.00% 59.40% 43.30% 125.80% 194.80%
NOMD Nomad Foods 13.90% 0.26 0.48 35.10% -21.30% -14.20% 11.50% 13.10% 51.10% 39.80% 80.10% 240.70% – 
NVO Novo Nordisk 4.90% 0.43 0.55 12.60% -18.10% -13.20% 1.60% 3.10% 23.40% 50.00% 57.60% 46.90% 251.00%
NVS Novartis -3.40% 0.47 0.61 13.90% -10.90% -14.30% 3.10% -3.60% 6.60% 16.90% 37.80% 59.20% 166.60%
ORAN Orange 5.00% 0.69 0.57 12.70% -11.60% -21.20% 0.20% 2.40% 7.40% -16.20% -16.90% -7.20% 3.00%
PFE Pfizer 5.40% 0.55 0.67 20.80% -11.30% -21.30% 8.40% 5.60% 17.60% 4.60% 25.70% 51.30% 191.40%
PSA Public Storage 16.90% 0.49 0.57 10.00% -11.10% -12.30% 10.40% 22.00% 42.20% 30.50% 51.40% 20.30% 243.90%
PSEC Prospect Capital 51.50% 0.47 0.69 24.30% -26.60% -18.40% 4.90% 43.30% 114.90% 54.60% 76.20% 96.40% 132.50%
QDEL Quidel -29.30% 0.34 0.68 42.10% -40.10% -59.20% -9.90% -35.80% 25.00% 97.50% 127.90% 609.20% 956.40%
QGEN Qiagen -0.80% 0.24 0.33 39.90% -21.60% -17.40% 6.90% -1.40% 30.70% 29.70% 59.80% 120.80% 152.50%
RDWR Radware 3.50% 0.69 0.65 17.00% -11.70% -17.30% 7.80% 0.40% 35.80% 9.40% 29.70% 161.70% 73.80%
REGN Regeneron Pharmaceuticals 4.70% 0.67 0.69 30.30% -16.30% -32.10% 4.60% -2.30% -1.10% 34.80% 57.40% 24.40% 1028.40%
RGR Sturm Ruger & Co 10.20% 0.44 0.36 22.90% -20.60% -32.80% 0.80% -1.70% 48.50% 44.00% 46.20% 25.30% 393.10%
SAND Sandstorm Gold 7.90% 0.76 0.32 47.90% -25.90% -42.70% 9.50% 12.80% 19.30% 37.50% 62.30% 102.10% 42.80%
SEB Seaboard 23.60% 0.27 0.37 20.90% -20.50% -17.40% -0.70% 15.20% 25.60% -14.60% -7.80% 25.90% 68.50%
SFM Sprouts Farmers Market 34.80% 0.27 0.44 25.20% -19.20% -32.20% 9.20% 32.40% 42.80% 26.90% 14.20% -3.40% – 
SJM JM Smucker 14.90% 0.3 0.36 17.50% -13.20% -15.30% 7.90% 18.00% 17.70% 17.60% 17.50% 18.90% 129.00%
STZ.B Constellation Brands 1.80% 0.37 0.64 20.70% -16.90% -16.80% 5.60% 3.40% 40.20% 20.50% 3.10% 50.10% 991.80%
TAK Takeda Pharmaceutical -6.40% 0.53 0.6 21.40% -15.00% -21.10% -9.70% -4.80% 4.20% -3.10% -17.10% -17.70% 4.40%
TM Toyota Motor 1.70% 0.61 0.62 13.50% -9.60% -9.60% 2.80% 3.80% 29.70% 34.90% 29.80% 69.60% 158.00%
TME Tencent Music Enter Gr -7.20% 0.48 0.53 38.30% -23.90% -43.40% -32.30% -17.70% 64.90% 1.70% –  –  – 
TSLX Sixth Street Specialty 16.40% 0.73 0.68 24.90% -37.10% -19.60% 4.50% 16.40% 82.70% 45.60% 81.70% 134.90% – 
VIRT Virtu Financial 25.60% 0.12 0.08 50.40% -24.00% -22.90% 4.30% 28.10% 34.90% 42.10% 0.10% 89.60% – 
YUMC Yum China Holdings 5.40% 0.7 0.63 25.40% -12.10% -13.60% -4.20% 4.70% 35.00% 39.40% 53.20% –  – 
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