UK Accounting Glossary
The universe of securities refers to a group of stocks that all exhibit a common characteristic or group of characteristics. A universe of securities can represent stocks of a particular market capitalization, industry, or sector. Another criterion that can be used to define a universe of securities is a similar line of products. A portfolio manager may consider a particular universe of securities as their investment mandate. For example, a portfolio manager of a US large-cap fund would only consider a universe of securities that included domestic firms that meet the minimum capitalization requirements of what the Fund deems to be a large-cap. Many mutual funds limit themselves to a particular universe of securities and are often named after that universe of securities. The term style drift refers to an investment manager that has strayed from their mandated universe of securities. Often, when a technical analyst is backtesting a strategy they will limit the test to a specific universe of securities.
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This glossary post was last updated: 5th February 2020.