Two Pitfalls in Comparing Financial Time-Series

1 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2020

Date Written: December 20, 2013


This note outlines two pitfalls in visually comparing financial time-series such as stock prices or the values of financial portfolios. One occurs when we aim to compare growth rates (or returns), the other when we compare risk in the sense of price variability. In both cases, comparing the levels of the time-series on a linear scale may not provide insights or, worse, give a misleading impression.

Keywords: financial time-series, time-series visualisation, data graphics

JEL Classification: C18, C58, C87

Suggested Citation

Schumann, Enrico, Two Pitfalls in Comparing Financial Time-Series (December 20, 2013). Available at SSRN: or

Enrico Schumann (Contact Author)

Independent ( email )

No Address Available
United States

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