Fixed-income Attribution

Fixed-income attribution refers to the process of measuring returns generated by various sources of risk in a fixed income portfolio, particularly when multiple sources of return are active at the same time.

For example, the risks affecting the return of a bond portfolio include the overall level of the yield curve, the slope of the yield curve, and the credit spreads of the bonds in the portfolio. A portfolio manager may hold firm views on the ways in which these factors will change in the near future, so in three separate risk decisions he positions the assets in the portfolio to take advantage of the expected forthcoming market movements. If all views subsequently prove to be correct, then each decision will generate a profit. If one view is wrong, it will generate a loss, but the effect of the other bets may compensate. The overall performance will then be the sum of the performance contributions from each source of risk.

Attribution is therefore an extremely useful tool in verifying a fund manager’s claims to possessing particular investment skills. If a fund is marketed as being interest-rate neutral while providing consistent returns from superior credit research, then an attribution report will confirm this claim. Conversely, if the attribution report shows that this same manager is making non-zero returns from interest rate movements, then his exposure to interest rate risk is clearly not zero and his investment process clearly differs from his stated position.

Fixed-income attribution therefore provides a much deeper level of information than is available from a simple portfolio performance report. Typically, such a report only shows returns at an aggregated level, and provides no feedback as to where the investor’s true skills lie. For these reasons, fixed-income attribution is rapidly growing in importance in the investment industry.

Read more about Fixed-income AttributionSector-based Attribution, Yield Curve Attribution, Attribution On Mortgage-backed Securities, Benchmarks, Future Challenges

Other articles related to "attribution":

Fixed-income Attribution - Future Challenges
... The sheer variety of the fixed-income markets, and the pace of innovation in this area, means that provision of an attribution capability from scratch will continue to present ... instrument types new types of instrument continually appear no standard approach to attribution – sector, yield-curve based, factor based While there remain numerous ... to data cheaper and more powerful computing systems better understanding of how to perform attribution ...

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