Entropic value at risk: Explained | TIOmarkets

BY TIO Staff

|July 5, 2024

In the world of trading, risk management is a crucial aspect that traders need to understand and implement. One of the key concepts in this regard is the 'Entropic Value at Risk'. This concept, though complex, can be a game-changer when it comes to making informed trading decisions. This glossary entry aims to provide an in-depth understanding of the concept, its calculation, and its application in the trading world.

Entropic Value at Risk, often abbreviated as EVaR, is a risk measure that quantifies the risk of a financial portfolio under extreme market conditions. It is based on the concept of entropy, a measure of uncertainty or randomness, and is used to estimate the potential loss that could occur in a portfolio due to adverse market movements.

Understanding Entropy in Trading

Before delving into the specifics of EVaR, it is important to understand the concept of entropy in the context of trading. In physics, entropy is a measure of the disorder or randomness in a system. In trading, it is used to quantify the uncertainty or unpredictability of market movements.

Entropy in trading is often associated with the volatility of the market. A market with high entropy is highly volatile and unpredictable, making it riskier for traders. On the other hand, a market with low entropy is more stable and predictable, thus considered less risky.

The Role of Entropy in Risk Management

Entropy plays a crucial role in risk management in trading. By quantifying the uncertainty of market movements, it allows traders to assess the risk associated with their trading strategies. This information can be used to adjust trading strategies to manage risk effectively.

For instance, if a trader's portfolio has a high entropy value, it indicates a high level of risk. The trader might then choose to reduce the risk by diversifying the portfolio or by using hedging strategies. On the other hand, if the entropy value is low, the trader might choose to take on more risk in pursuit of higher returns.

Concept of Entropic Value at Risk (EVaR)

Having understood the concept of entropy, let's now delve into the specifics of Entropic Value at Risk. EVaR is a risk measure that combines the concepts of Value at Risk (VaR) and entropy. It estimates the potential loss in a portfolio under extreme market conditions, taking into account the uncertainty or randomness of market movements.

EVaR is considered a more robust measure of risk than VaR as it does not assume a normal distribution of returns. Instead, it uses the concept of entropy to account for the unpredictability of market movements, making it a more realistic measure of risk.

Calculation of EVaR

The calculation of EVaR involves a complex mathematical process. It starts with the calculation of the entropy of the portfolio, which is then used to estimate the potential loss under extreme market conditions. The specifics of the calculation can vary depending on the complexity of the portfolio and the market conditions.

Despite its complexity, the calculation of EVaR can be done using financial software or programming languages like Python or R. These tools can handle the complex calculations and provide accurate estimates of EVaR.

Application of EVaR in Trading

The primary application of EVaR is in risk management in trading. By providing a realistic estimate of potential loss, it allows traders to make informed decisions about their trading strategies.

For instance, a trader can use EVaR to assess the risk of a trading strategy under extreme market conditions. If the EVaR is high, the trader might choose to adjust the strategy to reduce the risk. On the other hand, if the EVaR is low, the trader might choose to take on more risk in pursuit of higher returns.

Limitations of EVaR

While EVaR is a powerful tool for risk management, it is not without limitations. One of the main limitations is its complexity. The calculation of EVaR involves complex mathematical processes, which can be difficult to understand and implement for many traders.

Another limitation is that EVaR, like all risk measures, is based on historical data. This means it may not accurately predict future risks, especially in rapidly changing market conditions. Therefore, while EVaR can be a useful tool for risk management, it should not be the only tool used by traders.


In conclusion, Entropic Value at Risk is a complex but powerful tool for risk management in trading. By quantifying the uncertainty of market movements, it provides a realistic estimate of potential loss under extreme market conditions. This information can be used by traders to make informed decisions about their trading strategies.

Despite its complexity and limitations, EVaR is a valuable addition to a trader's toolkit. By understanding and implementing this concept, traders can better manage their risk and potentially improve their trading performance.

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TIO Staff

Behind every blog post lies the combined experience of the people working at TIOmarkets. We are a team of dedicated industry professionals and financial markets enthusiasts committed to providing you with trading education and financial markets commentary. Our goal is to help empower you with the knowledge you need to trade in the markets effectively.

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