A high beta index is a basket of stocks that exhibit greater volatility than a broad market index like the S&P 500. The S&P 500 High Beta Index is the most well-known of these indexes. It tracks the performance of 100 S&P 500 companies that are most sensitive to changes in market returns. Beta by definition is the amount of volatility or systematic risk, an asset exhibits compared to the market as a whole. Besides the flagship large-cap index, Standard and Poor’s (S&P) offers high beta variations of small-cap, mid-cap, and emerging markets to name a few.
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