#Fincabulary 34 – Smart Beta

smart-beta-etf

Source: https://www.sanlam.com/

Meaning – Smart beta defines a set of investment strategies that emphasize the use of alternative index construction rules to traditional market capitalization-based indices. Smart beta emphasizes capturing investment factors or market inefficiencies in a rules-based and transparent way. The increased popularity of smart beta is linked to a desire for portfolio risk management and diversification along factor dimensions, as well as seeking to enhance risk-adjusted returns above cap-weighted indices.

The goal of smart beta is to obtain alpha, lower risk or increase diversification at a cost lower than traditional active management and marginally higher than straight index investing. It seeks the best construction of an optimally diversified portfolio. In effect, smart beta is a combination of efficient-market hypothesis and value investing.

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#Fincabulary 27 – Calamity Call

Meaning – A call feature of a Collateralized Mortgage Obligation (CMO) designed primarily to reduce the issuer’s reinvestment risk. If the cash flow generated by the underlying collateral is not enough to support the scheduled principal and interest payments, then the issuer is required to retire a portion of the CMO issue. It is also known as a “clean-up call.”

A Calamity Call is only one type of protection used in CMOs. Other types of protection include overcollateralization and pool insurance. In addition to protecting against reinvestment risk, Calamity Calls can be used to protect against default losses. They can be used in CMOs structured from second lien mortgages, where there is more limited protection against default losses. This is in contrast to overcollateralization which may be enough to provide sufficient protection to underlying pools of conventional fixed-rate mortgages.

WEATHER DERIVATIVES – CONCEPT, CHALLENGES, AND FEASIBILITY

By  Ishan Kekre & Girish C

Introduction

A weather derivative is a tool for managing weather risk. It is a financial contract that allows a firm to hedge itself against unexpected and adverse weather. A weather derivative contract or WD derives its value from future weather conditions. Contrary to stereotypical weather insurance, the payout of this kind of derivative is based on a parametric weather index. For instance, the index could be centimeters or millimeters of rainfall. The index could also be a cumulative frequency distribution of temperatures across many locations. The underlying of WD could also be related to snowfall or hurricanes.

Origin of Weather Derivatives

The weather derivative market as compared to other financial instruments is relatively young. The first transaction in the WD market dates back to 1997. The sector developed due to the severe repercussions of El Niño. These events were forecasted correctly by the meteorological community. Firms that had their revenues linked to weather realized the importance of protecting themselves against seasonal weather risks. Many companies who were in the business of dealing with financial futures and options saw WDs as attractive tools to hedge weather risks.

The insurance sector achieved substantial financial consolidation. As a result, there was significant capital to hedge weather risks. Insurance firms started writing options with payoffs linked to weather events. This, in turn, elevated the liquidity for the development of a WD market. Thus, the WD market evolved over the years into a strong over-the-counter market.

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Finacabulary #9- Casino Finance

Meaning: A slang term for an investment strategy that is considered extremely risky.

Casino finance refers to casinos and gambling, where players may have little to no control over the outcome of their bets. It generally refers to high dollar bets in the markets, either involving high-risk investments, and/or high leveraged accounts. Investors who employ these tactics are usually taking large risks in order to attempt to earn large rewards. While most investors prefer a more conservative approach, some investors are comfortable undertaking a large amount of risk, in order to have the opportunity to secure large returns.