Harvard Business School

Baker Library | Bloomberg Center

 

Locating Historical Betas on Companies

5 Years or 15 Years


Example: Find betas for the last 5 years (monthly) for the Ford Motor company.


In Research Insight, choose Research Assistant from the opening screen. Welcome to Research Insight

 

Choose a company by typing the ticker symbol in the search box. You can also click Look Up to find a company by name; click Paste and then Close to add the company's ticker symbol to the search box. Click Next> at the bottom of the dialog box.
Research Assistant Step 1

 

Click Next> on the next screen that shows the company you have selected.
Research Assistant Step 2

 

Select Report Assistant; then click Next>.
Research Assistant Step 3

 

Under Historical Analysis, select Items vs. Time For a Company. Click Next>.
Report Assistant Step 1

 

Select Valuation from the Item Groups box in the upper left; then choose Beta from the Items list. Click Add to add it to the Selected Items box. Click Next> when done.
Report Assistant 2

 

To change the options in the Item Groups and add additional search categories, click Customize... You can select as many as 9 Custom Item Groups per search. Within each item group there is a wide range of Items (see screen shot below for example using Valuation).
Custom Item Groups

 

Choose Absolute as the format for period display and set the date range to 5 years ago-present. Click Finish when done.
Report Assistant Step 3

 

Your finished report on 5 years of monthly betas for Ford Motor Company will look like this:
Ford Report

To export as a text file that can be opened in Excel, click File in the top left menu bar, then Save as.


 

For historical beta back 15 years (monthly), first you must create a formula to use in Report Assistant.

In Research Insight, from the Databases menu choose Concept.
Research Insight Databases Menu

 

Click New Concept, then type the name for the concept about to be created, TRT1M, and hit the Enter key.
Concept Definition

 

When asked if the concept should be added to the data dictionary click OK.
Add to dictionary

 

In Description field, enter Total Monthly Return; then enter the following formula in the Formula field. Click Accept, then click Close.
(((PRCCM*TRFM)/(PRCCM*TRFM)[-1])-1)*100
Concept Definition Formula

Remaining in the New Concept window, type the name for the second concept to be created, BETA1, and hit the Enter key.
Concept Definition

 

When asked if the concept should be added to the data dictionary click OK.
Add to dictionary

 

In Description field, enter Historical Beta Calculation; then enter the following formula in the Formula field. Click Accept, then click Close
(@pcor(trt1m,"I0003":trt1m,-59,0)*@pstd(trt1m,-59,0))/(@pstd("i0003":trt1m,-59,0))
Concept Definition Formula

 

After creating your concepts, go back to the Report Assistant.
Report Assistant

In Report Assistant, under Historical Analysis, select Items vs. Time For a Company. Click Next>.
Report Assistant Step 1

On the next screen, to add your Historical Beta Calculation formula to the report, click Look Up.
Report Assistant Step 2

Under Select Item Category choose User, then select the Historical Beta Calculation formula you created and click Paste.
Look Up

Historical Beta Calculation now appears in the Selected Items window. Click Next>.
Report Assistant Step 2 Historical Beta

On the next screen, choose Absolute as the format for period display and choose a range of time back 15 years. Click Finish when done.
Report Assistant Step 3

If you have not already entered the company name, you will be prompted to enter it now. Type the company stock ticker into the box, or click Look Up to find a company by name. Click OK at the bottom of the dialog box.
Run Assistant

Your finished report of 15 years of historical monthly betas will look like this:
Ford Report


Baker Library | Bloomberg Center, Harvard Business School, Soldiers Field, Boston, MA 02163, 617-495-6040