Why is the coefficient of variation a better risk measure, Financial Management

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Why is the coefficient of variation a better risk measure to use than the standard deviation when evaluating the risk of capital budgeting projects?

The coefficient of variation is a improved risk measure than the standard deviation alone for the reason that the CV adjusts for the size of the project.  The CV calculates the standard deviation divided by the mean and consequently puts the standard deviation into context.  For illustration, a standard deviation of .05 perhaps considered large relative to a mean of .02 however would be considered a small value relative to a mean value of 8. 

 


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