# How to calculate Skulls Financial Turbulence for one asset?

I have just read this paper http://www.cfapubs.org/loi/doi/abs/10.2469/faj.v66.n5.3

In the paper they define financial turbulence formula as: Could anyone help me calculate/understand this formula, maybe with a simple numeric example?

Numeric example you could improve:

Let's say we want to find the financial turbulence of Dow Jones Industrial at time t, and I have DJI monthly returns of last 24 months (monthly returns created by using month end prices):

DJIR = [0.03, 0.01, -0.04, ..., 0.015]


Thus:

DJIR is 0.03 (it means 3% return)
DJIR is 0.01
DJIR is -0.04
DJIR is -0.02
DJIR is 0.05
...
DJIR is 0.015


Now let's say I want to calculate the financial turbulence d at t = 5

$$d = (DJIR - \mu) * Covariance$$

So what's $\mu$ here at t = 5? How to calculate it? Is it the average of returns until this point, or is it a moving average of the last n returns?

And what's Covariante here at time t = 5, I know Covariance is calculated like this: $\frac{1}{N-1}\sum_{i=1}^{n}(x_i-\bar{x})(y_i-\bar{y})$

But who is $x_i$ and who is $y_i$ in the formula?

You wrote: $$d = (DJIR - \mu) * Covariance$$ but you left out half of it (the inverse and the transposed vector on the right side). The correct formula is $$d = (DJIR - \mu)^2 / Var[DJIR]$$
The covariance "matrix" becomes the variance in a 1-dimensional case (in other words $x_i$ and $y_i$ are both equal to DJIR[i] in this case) and the "matrix inverse" of a number just becomes one over the number. [That is why you DIVIDE by variance, you don't multiply]. For mu you can use mean[DJIR] over a very long period of time (many years) but you could also set it to zero (which is commonly done and that is what I would recommend, it wont make much difference). Of course the variance is the variance up to this point.
• Let's keep it in one dimension, so just one asset. If $\mu$ is commony set to zero, how do you calculate the $Var[DJIR]$ then? $\mu$ is needed to calculate also the $Var[DJIR] = \frac{1}{N-1}\sum_{i=1}^{n}(DJIR[i]-\mu)^2$. Moreover even by using the $Var$, shouldn't the function become: $$d = (DJIR - \mu) * Var[DJIR]$$ – Marco Demaio Aug 21 '15 at 12:05
• (1) Make $mu$ equal to zero throughout. Another idea is use an intelligent value for $mu$ such as 0.0003 (3 basis point per day is about 8% a year which is reasonable for a stock market index). But use the same value everywhere. (2) As you will recall from linear algebra, the apostrophe means vector transpose and $v v'$ means the inner product of v with itself. If v is one dimensional that reduces to $v^2$, not $v$ as you have it. Also look at the charts you linked: the value of d is never negative, That is because they are taking the square! – noob2 Aug 21 '15 at 13:55