An example of alpha risk in finance would be if one wanted to test the hypothesis that the average yearly return on a group of equities was greater than 10%. So the null hypothesis would be if the returns were equal to or less that 10%. In order to test this, one would compile a sample of equity returns over time and set the level of significance. If, after statistically looking at the sample, you determine that the average yearly return is higher than 10%, you would reject the null hypothesis. But in reality, the average return was 6% so you have made a type I error. The probability that you have made this error in your test is the alpha risk. This alpha risk could lead you to invest in a group of equities when the returns do not actually justify the potential risks.
Investment dictionary. Academic. 2012.
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