Posts tagged modern portfolio theory
A World of Suboptimal Choices

It's never easy when bonds and stocks decline at the same time, but despite the much-publicised death of the "risk parity" strategy, I don't think the past few weeks' price action qualifies as decisive evidence. After all, the S&P 500 is down a mere 0.6% from its peak in the beginning of June, while US 10-year futures are off only 1.5%. In writing this, though, I remember that many punters in this business use leverage. This acts as an accelerant not only for the volatility of their PnLs, but also for the speed with which a meme can take hold in the peanut gallery. I sympathise with the plight of bond traders in Europe where the dislocation in yields has been particularly nasty. When yields are near zero, or even negative, the relationship between small changes in yield and prices can be brutal. This is even acuter in Japan, where the BOJ might soon have to actually defend that 0% target on the 10-year yield, to avoid an accident in the domestic asset management industry. In the U.S., the 10-year yields has been altogether less dramatic, but big enough to raise questions about whether we have made a switch from a flattener to a steepener.

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