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Investments glossary

Security Market Line (SML)

The security market line (SML) is a line drawn on a chart that serves as a graphical representation of the capital asset pricing model (CAPM)—which shows different levels of systematic, or market risk, of various marketable securities, plotted against the expected return of the entire market at any given time. Also known as the characteristic line, the SML is a visualization of the CAPM, where the x-axis of the chart represents risk (in terms of beta), and the y-axis of the chart represents expected return. The market risk premium of a given security is determined by where it is plotted on the chart relative to the SML.

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