The ability of commonly used profitability measures to reflect risk exposure appropriately is evaluated and found lacking. As an alternative, a modern portfolio theory approach, based on utility
theory, is recommended. Generalized formulas for calculating risk-adjusted economic values by deriving risk adjustments from certainty equivalents are developed by using the Markowitz expected utility maxim. Practical applications are described. Where appropriate, simplifying assumptions are shown to result in closed-form solutions, thereby reducing the need for extensive,
stochastic cash flow simulations. The resulting formulas can be used to measure financial performance on a risk-adjusted basis consistently across different lines of business or to evaluate risk exposures in strategic alternatives.