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Homework Assignment I
 
Please use Word and Excel. Hand-written work will not be accepted.
 
A bond portfolio manager manages a small bond portfolio of approximately $10 million US dollars. The client requires a yield on the portfolio equal to the benchmark’s yield plus 100 bp.The client also requires that a maximum allocation to high yield or junk bonds be 15% of the portfolio.
 
The portfolio manager actively manages duration in order to take advantage of volatility and also to prevent loss of principal. The portfolio manager does not maintain cash balances. Minimum allocation to one bond issue is 2.5%, maximum allocation is 10%, for investment grade, 5% otherwise.
 
Attached is a spreadsheet with 42 issues with various characteristics. It is the inventory of a sell-side firm the manager does business with.
 
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Related Services

 

1) Given an expected 200 bp increase in market rates, construct a portfolio appropriate for this scenario but also provides the yield desired by the client.
 
a. Why did you choose the issues you choose?
b. Given your selected holdings, what will the change in portfolio value be?
c. What is the total value?
d. What is the portfolio’s yield?
 

2) Given an expected 150 bp decrease in market rates, construct a portfolio appropriate for this scenario but also provides the yield desired by the client.
 
a. Why did you choose the issues you choose?
b. Given your selected holdings, what will the change in portfolio value be?
c. What is the total value?
d. What is the portfolio’s yield?
 

3) In the late 1990’s, the US Government decided to stop issuing 30 year maturity bonds. This caused turmoil in the bond market. One portfolio manager was quoted as saying “Without the 30’, where am I going to find dependable duration?”
 

Please explain the manager’s sentiment. Limit your answer to one page of text.
 
4) In a conversation with a bond portfolio manager, she states that given the current economic background and expectations for corporate profits, her investment firm is reducing the average credit quality of their portfolio holdings but maintaining a short to medium term duration.
 

What is the meaning of her comment? What do you suppose is their outlook for the economy and interest rates? Please limit your answer to one page of text.

 
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