The reading is organized as follows:
In Section 2, we discuss the consequences of combining a risk-free asset with the market portfolio and provide an interpretation of the capital market line.
Section 3 decomposes total risk into systematic and nonsystematic risk and discusses the characteristics of and differences between the two kinds of risk. We also introduce return-generating models, including the single-index model, and illustrate the calculation of beta by using formulas and graphically by using the security characteristic line.
In Section 4, we introduce the capital asset pricing model and the security market line. We discuss many applications of the CAPM and the SML throughout the reading, including the use of expected return in making capital budgeting decisions, the evaluation of portfolios using the CAPM’s risk-adjusted return as the benchmark, security selection, and determining whether adding a new security to the current portfolio is appropriate.
in Section 5 a preview of a number of models is given. Our focus on the CAPM does not suggest that the CAPM is the only viable asset pricing model. Although the CAPM is an excellent starting point, more advanced readings expand on these discussions and extend the analysis to other models that account for multiple explanatory factors.