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Managing Bond Portfolios Active Management Strategies. Managing Fixed Income Securities: Basic Strategies. Active strategy Trade on interest rate predictions Trade on market inefficiencies Passive strategy Control risk Balance risk and return. Yield Curve Changes.

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Managing Bond Portfolios

Active Management Strategies

managing fixed income securities basic strategies
Managing Fixed Income Securities: Basic Strategies
  • Active strategy
    • Trade on interest rate predictions
    • Trade on market inefficiencies
  • Passive strategy
    • Control risk
    • Balance risk and return
yield curve changes
Yield Curve Changes
  • It involves positioning a portfolio to capitalize on expected changes in the shape of the treasury yield curve
  • Type of shifts in the yield curve:
    • Parallel shift: changes in the yields on all maturities are the same

yield change

yield change




yield curve change
Yield Curve Change ...
  • Non parallel shifts
    • Twist: flattening or steepening of the yields curve
    • Slope of the yield curve is usually measures by the spread between some long-term treasury and some short term treasury yields, e.g., 30 y over 12 year; 20 y over 2 y

yield change

yield change



yield curve change1
Yield Curve Change ...
  • Butterfly shift
    • Change in the humpedness of the yield curve: both the yields on the short end and the long change in the same direction, while the yields with intermediate maturities change to an opposite direction

yield change

yield change

yield curve movement historical facts
Yield Curve Movement: Historical Facts
  • The three types of movements combined can explain more than 90% of the yield curve changes
  • They are not independent:
    • downward shift usually combined the steepening of the yield curve
    • upward shift usually combined the flattening of the yield curve
yield curve strategy
Yield Curve Strategy
  • Yield curve analysis is important if one has a portfolio consisting of many different maturities
  • Positioning a portfolio with respect to the maturities of the securities across the spectrum included in the portfolio
  • Common strategies:
    • Bullet strategy: securities in the portfolio are concentrated around one maturity
    • Barbell strategy: concentrated around the extreme
    • ladder strategy: evenly invested in securities with different maturities
  • Bullet portfolio (I): 100% of C
  • Barbell portfolio (II): 50.2% of A, and 49.8% of B
  • Duration:
    • I: 6.434; II: 0.502*4.005+0.498*8.882 = 6.434
  • Dollar convexity:
    • I: 55.4506; II: 0.502*19.8164+0.498*124.1702 = 71.7806
  • Yield:
    • I: 9.25%, and II: 0.502*8.50%+0.498*9.50% = 8.998%
Example …
  • Yield difference: 9.25%-8.998% = 25.2 b.p.
  • This is referred to as the cost of convexity: giving up yield for better convexity
  • Now suppose one has a 6-month investment horizon, which portfolio should he choose:
    • Same duration
    • Yield (I) > Yield (II)
    • Convexity (I) < Convexity (II)
spread trades
Spread Trades
  • Consider the following bond that has a maturity on 5/15/2034

and the T-note with coupon 5.5% and matures on 11/30/2007

spread trades1
Spread Trades
  • Yield Spread between 30 bond and the two year bond:


  • What can one do if he believes that yield would be significantly increase (or the slope of the yield curve will increase) in a couple of days?
    • We don’t want to bear the risk of the yield curve having a parallel shift
      • need to make the portfolio’s price risk to be zero:
    • In order for the spread to increase:
      • yield for the 30 year increase relatively more than the 2 year note
      • yield for the 30 year decrease relatively less than the 2 year note

How to setup portfolio to realize a profit based on one’s belief?

spread trades2
Spread Trades
  • Relative price would change: 30 year bond would be relatively cheaper than the 2 year note
    • short 30 year bond and long two year note
  • Assume we want to short $100m par amount of 30 year bond.
    • To eliminate the parallel shift risk, we need to long

of par amount 2 year note

  • Assume that the repo rate using the 2 year note as collateral is 5%, and reverse repo rate using the 30 bond as collateral is 4.9%
trading spreads
Trading Spreads …

ON 12/2/05

Borrow 30 Y bond

Deliver two year note


Repo Dealer


Borrow Cash

Post cash as collateral

Buy 2 Y note

Sell 30 Y bond

ON 12/4/05

Unwind the Position

Collect 2Y note

Return 30Y bond


Repo Dealer


Receive Cash plus int

Payback cash plus int

Sell the 2Y note

Buy 30Y Bond

summary on 12 2 2005
Summary: On 12/2/2005
  • Borrow enough cash to buy the $641m par 2Y note (and post it as collateral):

(100.4360+0.03022)*10,000*641= (643,988,470)

Borrow 30Y bond and sell it (then post the cash as collateral):

(108.8405+0.408654)*10,000*100 = 109,249.154

Net Cash Flow: 0

Note: usually repo dealers take haircut

on 12 4 04
On 12/4/04
  • Sell 2Y note: for the par amount $641m,

(100.5967+0.0604)*10,000*641 = 645.212,011

  • Repay the repo dealer:

643,988,470*(1+2*0.05/360) = (644,167,356)

  • Collect cash plus interest from the repo dealer:

109,249,254*(1+ 2*0.049/360) = 109,278,894

  • Buy the 30Y bond to cover the short position:

(109.8701+0.4567)*10,000*100 = (110,326,800)

Net: (3,251)

spread trades3
Spread Trades
  • Profit & loss depends on:
    • bid-ask spreads
    • repo rates
      • if the security that is long can earn a special repo rate, which is much higher, then the deal would have made money
      • haircut
active bond management swapping strategies
Active Bond Management: Swapping Strategies
  • Substitution swap
  • Inter-market swap
  • Rate anticipation swap
  • Pure yield pickup
  • Tax swap
yield curve ride

Yield to Maturity %

1.50 1.25 0.75


3M 6M 9M

Yield Curve Ride