The Investment Scientist

Posts Tagged ‘small cap risk

In 1993, the Journal of Financial Economics published “Common risk factors in the returns of stocks and bonds” by Fama and French. They examined bond returns in particular through the lens of various asset return models.

Let’s look at one of those models: the Fama/French three-factor model. The regression statistics of various bond classes are summarized in the table below:

Bond class 1-5G 6-10G Aaa Aa A Baa <Baa
Alpha 0.72% 0.84% -0.84% -0.85% -0.96% -0.6% -1.32%
Beta 0.1 0.18 0.25 0.25 0.26 0.27 0.34
S -0.06 -0.14 -0.12 -0.11 -0.09 -0.04 0.04
V 0.07 0.08 0.14 0.15 0.16 0.2 0.23

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MZ Capital 60/40 Model

MZ Capital 60/40 model vs S&P 500

Once I asked a prospective client how he managed investment risk.

“Well,” he intoned, “I try to get in before the market rallies and get out before it tanks.”

It is not just lay investors who have this misconception about risk management; many financial advisors equate risk management to market timing as well. One only needs to watch those advisors talking on CNBC to see that many of them are in the fortune-telling business.

So how do I manage risks? There are three steps.

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Author

Michael Zhuang is principal of MZ Capital, a fee-only independent advisory firm based in Washington, DC.

Twitter: @mzhuang

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