If you own shares in Lithium Chile Inc. (CVE:LITH) then it's worth thinking about how it contributes to the volatility of your portfolio, overall. In finance, Beta is a measure of volatility. Volatility is considered to be a measure of risk in modern finance theory. Investors may think of volatility as falling into two main categories. 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 see their prices move in concert with the market. Others tend towards stronger, gentler or unrelated price movements. Beta can be a useful tool to understand how much a stock is influenced by market risk (volatility). However, Warren Buffett said 'volatility is far from synonymous with risk' in his 2014 letter to investors. So, while useful, beta is not the only metric to consider. To use beta as an investor, you must first understand that the overall market has a beta of one. A stock with a beta greater than one is more sensitive to broader market movements than a stock with a beta of less than one.
What we can learn from LITH's beta value
Given that it has a beta of 1.13, we can surmise that the Lithium Chile share price has been fairly sensitive to market volatility (over the last 5 years). If the past is any guide, we would expect that Lithium Chile shares will rise quicker than the markets in times of optimism, but fall faster in times of pessimism. 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 Lithium Chile fares in that regard, below.
How does LITH's size impact its beta?
Lithium Chile is a rather small company. It has a market capitalisation of CA$41m, which means it is probably under the radar of most investors. Relatively few investors can influence the price of a smaller company, compared to a large company. This could explain the high beta value, in this case.
What this means for you:
Beta only tells us that the Lithium Chile share price is sensitive to broader market movements. This could indicate that it is a high growth company, or is heavily influenced by sentiment because it is speculative. Alternatively, it could have operating leverage in its business model. Ultimately, beta is an interesting metric, but there's plenty more to learn. In order to fully understand whether LITH is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as Lithium Chile’s financial health and performance track record. I highly recommend you dive deeper by considering the following:
Financial Health: Are LITH’s operations financially sustainable? Balance sheets can be hard to analyze, which is why we’ve done it for you. Check out our financial health checks here.
Past Track Record: Has LITH 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 LITH's historicals for more clarity.
Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.
We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.com. 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. Thank you for reading.