Alpha is a measure of performance on a risk-adjusted basis.
Alpha takes the volatility (price risk) of a fund or strategy and compares its risk-adjusted performance to a benchmark index.
The excess return of the fund or strategy relative to the return of the benchmark index is a fund's alpha.
A positive alpha of 1.0% means the fund or strategy has outperformed its benchmark index by 1% per month. Correspondingly, a similar negative alpha would indicate an under performance of 1% per month.