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Behavioral Portfolio Theory 2 – SP/A Theory

Behavioral Portfolio Theory 2 – SP/A Theory

Last time we began our discussion of Behavioral Portfolio Theory with a look at Safety-First Portfolio Theory (SFPT), which basically posits investor motivation to be to avoid ruin. An extension to SFPT was introduced in 1987 by Lopes, named SP/A Theory.

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Copyright 2011 Eric Bank, Freelance Writer
Capital Asset Pricing Model, Part Two – Systematic Risk

Capital Asset Pricing Model, Part Two – Systematic Risk

We are reviewing the underlying assumptions made by the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM). Recall from last time the assumption that returns are distributed normally (i.e. a bell-shaped curve) and how this fails to account for skew and fat tails. Today we’ll look at CAPM’s assumption that there is but a single source of priced systematic risk: market beta.

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Copyright 2011 Eric Bank, Freelance Writer
Securties Lending, Part One

Securties Lending, Part One

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Prime brokers offer a variety of services to investors, from providing credit to clearing trades. One important service offered is known as Securities Lending. In Part One of this article, we’ll look at the contractual and collateral rules pertaining to Securities Lending.

As an investor or hedge fund, you may wish to borrow shares for a variety of reasons, such as shorting the stock or hedging a long position. An executed Securities Lending Agreement is the documentation required before shares are loaned. Continue reading “Securties Lending, Part One” »

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Copyright 2011 Eric Bank, Freelance Writer
Repurchase Agreements

Repurchase Agreements

Picture of the U.S. Treasury Building in Washington D.C.
U.S. Treasury

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Repurchase agreements are contracts involving the simultaneous sale and future repurchase of an asset, most often Treasury securities.  Typically, the seller buys back the asset at the same price at which it sold. On the buy-back date, the original seller pays the original buyer interest on the implicit loan created by the transaction.  Interest due on a repo at maturity is at the rate for the stated maturity of the repo.

A reverse repo, or simple a reverse, is a contract in which a repo is structured so that a broker/dealer, a bank, or another party that normally uses the repo market to fund (finance) itself is cast in the role of securities purchaser and money lender  Broker/dealers often cover shorts by reversing in securities.

A sell/buyback is essentially the same as a repo, except for the treatment of coupon interest. Coupon payments are not forwarded to the investor by the counterparty. Instead, the counterparty pays the investor repo interest on the coupon payment. When the sell/buyback terminates, the investor will receive its accrued coupon interest from the counterparty. A sell/buy back transaction also differs from a repo transaction in that the sales price for securities delivered differs from the purchase price paid when the securities are returned.  The difference in the price of the sale and purchase transactions accounts for the amount of accrued coupon interest earned and the financing cost charged during the term of the loan.

A buy/sellback is similar to a reverse repo. Continue reading “Repurchase Agreements” »

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Copyright 2011 Eric Bank, Freelance Writer
Risk and Return: Alpha

Risk and Return: Alpha

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In our previous blog, we discussed the concept of beta as it applies to the risk and return of an investment. Recall that beta is the price movement in an individual investment that can be accounted for by the price movement of the general market.  If your investment has a beta of 1.0 and the market returns 10%, your investment should also return 10%.  If your investment returns over 10%, the excess return is called alpha. Alpha is derived from a in the formula Ri = a + bRm which measures the return on a security (Ri) for a given return on the market (Rm) where b is beta.

Continue reading “Risk and Return: Alpha” »

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Copyright 2010 Eric Bank, Freelance Writer