Portfolio Analysis and Investment

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Portfolio Analysis and Investment This assignment is concerned with your understanding of the key issues relative to portfolio analysis and investment. In completing this assignment you are to limit your scope to the US stock markets only. Use the Cybrary, the Internet, and course resources to write a 2-page essay which you will use with new clients of your financial planning business which addresses the following issues and/or practices: ? How individual investors make investment decisions in practice rather than in theory; and ? How investors manage their funds/savings/ investments in light of current stock markets. In your response, build upon extant portfolio theory and make sure to talk about different types of risks that investors might face and how they go about managing such risks. This means you need to consider topics such as efficient frontier and optimal portfolios; as well their relevance to investment theory. Furthermore, given the nature of the assignment, avoid bringing the brokerage industry into your discussion. In other words, assume you can invest directly in the stock market and do not need any financial intermediaries like brokerage houses. Investment theory is based upon some simple concepts. Investors should want to maximize their return while minimizing their risk at the same time. In order to accomplish this goal investors should diversify their portfolios based upon expected returns and standard deviations of individual securities. Investment theory assumes that investors are risk averse, which means that they will choose a portfolio with a smaller standard deviation. (Alexander, Sharpe, and Bailey, 1998). It is also assumed that wealth has marginal utility, which basically means that a dollar potentially lost has more perceived value than a dollar potentially gained. An indifference curve is a term that represents a combination of risk and expected return that has an equal amount of utility to an investor. A two dimensional figure that provides us with return measurements on the vertical axis and risk measurements (std. deviation) on the horizontal axis will show indifference curves starting at a point and moving higher up the vertical axis the further along the horizontal axis it moves. Therefore a risk averse investor will choose an indifference curve that lies the furthest to the northwest because this would r... ... middle of paper ... ...n efficient set that is on a straight line connecting the risk free rate to the most northwest point that we had identified previously. Now the risk averse investor has a lower risk for the same amount of return compared to the portfolios that did not include risk free lending. The combination is better because the points on the straight line are further northwest than the portfolios from the previous paragraph. Of course the lower the level of risk aversion the further toward the tangent the investor?s optimal portfolio moves. In summary, investors on the whole are rational and contribute to an efficient market through prudent investment decisions. Each investor?s optimal portfolio will be different depending on the feasible set of portfolios available for investment as well as the indifference curve for that particular investor. Lastly, risk free borrowing and lending changes the efficient set and gives the investor more opportunities to either get a higher expected return with the same amount of risk or the same amount of return with less risk. Work Cited William Sharpe, Gordon J. Alexander, Jeffrey W Bailey. Investments. Prentice Hall; 6 edition, October 20, 1998

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