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Platykurtic is a term used in statistics and finance to describe a probability distribution that has thinner tails and a flatter peak than the normal distribution. It signifies less extreme values or less risk in terms of outcomes. In other words, a platykurtic distribution exhibits fewer large deviations from the average, hence is considered more regular or less variable.


The phonetics of the word “Platykurtic” is: /ˌplādəˈkərdik/

Key Takeaways

<ol> <li>Platykurtic refers to a type of statistical distribution in which the tails are flatter and wider than in a normal distribution. This implies fewer extreme or outlier values.</li> <li>In a platykurtic distribution, data points are generally more spread out, therefore, leading to a lower degree of kurtosis compared to a normal distribution.</li> <li>The kurtosis in a platykurtic distribution is less than 3, which means the presence of fewer outliers or less extreme variants. As a result, the risk associated with these types of distributions is usually less.</li></ol>


The term “Platykurtic” is important in business and finance as it refers to the particular shape of a distribution curve that denotes the level of risk associated with a particular investment or portfolio. A platykurtic distribution is characterized by a low, flat curve with thinner tails, indicating a lower probability of extreme outcomes or high-risk events. This means that return on the investment is likely to remain within a certain narrow range. Thus, it provides valuable risk-related information to investors, helping them in their decision-making processes and enabling risk management in line with their investment strategies.


Platykurtic is a statistical term that is often used in finance and business to describe the shape or kurtosis of a probability distribution. In the context of finance, it is often used to analyze the risk and return patterns of investment portfolios. When a portfolio’s return distribution is described as platykurtic, it generally means that it displays fewer and less extreme fluctuations, or outliers, than the norm. This could be indicative of a more stable or predictable investment scenario. Therefore, investors may use the concept of platykurtosis to identify and prefer those investments that pose lesser risk.The purpose of identifying platykurtosis extends to various other fields of business and financial decision-making as well. For instance, in risk management, a platykurtic distribution might be favored over others as it indicates a lower likelihood of extreme losses. Also, in the trading of financial instruments and derivatives, pricing models often consider the kurtosis, where a platykurtic distribution might affect the pricing and hedging strategies. Therefore, being a vital measure in the analysis of risks and returns, the term platykurtic holds significant relevance in finance and business fields.


Platykurtic is a statistical term used to describe the shape of a data distribution. In finance and business, a platykurtic distribution is used to describe a situation where the probability of extreme outcomes or events is less than it is in a normal distribution. Here are three real-world examples:1. Stock Market Returns: If the annual return distribution of a stock is platykurtic, that means there are fewer extreme returns (either very high or very low) than what one would expect with a normal distribution. This might be seen in a stable, blue-chip company, which does not see extreme fluctuations in its stock price.2. Loan Defaults: In the banking sector, if a bank’s loan default rates form a platykurtic distribution, the bank has fewer loan defaults that are extreme. That is, there are fewer very large defaults (people not paying back substantial loans) and very small defaults (people not paying back smaller loans) than would be expected in a normal distribution.3. Insurance Claims: An insurance company might observe a platykurtic distribution in certain types of claims. For instance, the amount of claim for a particular disease may potentially form a platykurtic distribution. This would signify fewer extreme cases i.e., very high claim amounts or very low claim amounts when compared to a normal distribution. This suggests most of the claim amounts are around the mean and the policyholders are less likely to make extreme claims.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What does the term Platykurtic mean?

Platykurtic is a term used in statistics and finance that describes a frequency distribution that is less peaked and more flattened than a normal distribution. It has thinner tails and fewer outliers.

How does the platykurtic distribution differ from a normal distribution?

While a normal distribution is bell-shaped with tails gradually trailing off, a platykurtic distribution is more evenly spread with thinner tails. Thus, it carries fewer, less extreme outliers.

Can you mention a practical application of platykurtic distributions in finance?

Platykurtic distributions may be used by portfolio managers or financial analysts to balance risk. Given that platykurtic distributions have fewer extreme outliers, investments with this type of pattern may carry lower risk factors.

What does it indicate when a distribution is platykurtic in terms of risk analysis?

A platykurtic distribution suggests less potential risk in financial analysis. The thinner tails mean there are fewer extreme deviations, hence implying lower risk.

How does platykurtic differ from leptokurtic distribution?

While a platykurtic distribution is flatter and has thinner tails than a normal distribution, a leptokurtic distribution is more peaked and has fatter tails. Hence, a leptokurtic distribution shows greater outlier activity than a platykurtic one.

How is the kurtosis of a distribution calculated?

Kurtosis is a statistical measure calculated by raising the fourth deviations from the mean, averaging them, and subtracting by 3 (sometimes referred to as excess kurtosis). With normal distributions having a kurtosis of zero, platykurtic distributions show a negative kurtosis while leptokurtic ones show a positive kurtosis.

Related Finance Terms

  • Kurtosis: The statistical measure that describes the shape of a distribution’s tails in relation to its overall distribution. Platykurtic is a type of kurtosis.
  • Leptokurtic: A description of a distribution with fat tails and a peakedness greater than a normal distribution.
  • Mesokurtic: A description of a distribution that has similar kurtosis as a standard normal distribution, i.e., kurtosis of three.
  • Skewness: The degree of asymmetry observed in a probability distribution. In finance, it is commonly used to measure the direction and magnitude of a distribution’s asymmetry.
  • T-distribution: A type of probability distribution that is symmetrical and bell-shaped but has heavier tails than a normal distribution. It is often used in hypothesis testing when the sample size is small.

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