Browse Analysis of Managed and Structured Products

21.2.1 Relative Value Strategies

Comprehensive guide to understanding relative value strategies including equity market-neutral strategies, convertible arbitrage, and fixed-income arbitrage. Key concepts, examples, FAQs, and detailed methodologies are explored for effective trading.

Relative Value Strategies

Relative value strategies attempt to profit by exploiting inefficiencies or differences in the pricing of related securities. These strategies can include equity market-neutral strategies (also called pairs trading), convertible arbitrage, and fixed-income arbitrage.

Equity Market-Neutral Strategies

An equity market-neutral strategy is designed to exploit inefficiencies and opportunities in the equity market by holding equivalent long and short equity portfolios, matched in terms of size and value. The primary goal is to generate returns independent of the broader stock market’s direction. Performance hinges on the manager’s ability to rigorously analyze stocks, industries, valuations, or even country exposures to select appropriate pairs for trading, keeping beta (market risk exposure) low.

The key deliverable of a well-designed equity market-neutral portfolio is the reduction of risks related to external factors like industry, sector, market capitalization, and currency risks. Moderate leverage is typically used to make these trades more profitable.

Process of Pairs Trade Execution:

  1. Review Models: Analyze the fundamental valuation models of two related companies to identify mispricing opportunities.
  2. Compile Trading Pairs: Create a list of potential trading pairs.
  3. Historical Spread Analysis: Evaluate current and historical price spread relationships between these securities.
  4. Trade Initialization: Select trading pairs to initiate trades.
  5. Execute Trade: Perform the initial trade actions.
  6. Management System Entry: Record the trade in a real-time portfolio management system, specifying the target price spread for potential trade reversal.

Example: Equity Market-Neutral Strategy

Scenario: Raj, an investment manager, identifies a pairs trade between stocks of Royal Bank of Canada (RY) and Toronto Dominion Bank (TD). He judges the current price spread to be mispriced, implementing the trade with the defined conditions mentioned above.


  1. Figure 21.1: Stock Price Comparison
  • Share prices illustrated over a three-year period for RY and TD
  1. Figure 21.2: Share Price-Spread History and Statistics
  • Data during trade initiation and its implied values
    %%{init: {'theme': 'base', 'themeVariables': { 'fontSize': '16px', 'fontFamily': 'Verdana'}}}%%
	    title Stock Price Comparison
	    x-axis Year
	    y-axis Price ($CAD)
	    data "Royal_Bank_of_Canada" span: ('2017', '2020'), (53, 116, 108)
	    data "TD_Bank" span: ('2017', '2020'), (52, 112, 101)
    %%{init: {'theme': 'base', 'themeVariables': { 'fontSize': '16px', 'fontFamily': 'Verdana'}}}%%
	    title Share Price-Spread History
	    x-axis Yearstr
	    y-axis Price Spread (USD)
	    dataset label_stroke='Mean', group by _:%::>
	    dataset rest:
	## CSC® Exams Practice Questions

📚✨ CSC Exam Questions ✨📚

Welcome to the Knowledge Checkpoint! You'll find 10 carefully curated CSC exam practice questions designed to reinforce the key concepts covered. These questions will help you gauge your grasp of the material, identify areas that need further review, and ensure you're on the right track towards mastering the content for the Canadian Securities certification exams. Take your time, think critically, and use these quizzes as a tool to enhance your learning journey. 📘✨

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## Which of the following is an example of a relative value strategy? - [ ] Growth investing - [ ] Value investing - [ ] Index investing - [x] Pairs trading > **Explanation:** Relative value strategies include pairs trading, convertible arbitrage, and fixed-income arbitrage, which aim to profit from pricing inefficiencies in related securities. ## What is the primary goal of an equity market-neutral strategy? - [x] To generate returns that do not depend on the direction of the stock market - [ ] To invest in high-growth companies - [ ] To minimize transaction costs - [ ] To maximize short-term gains > **Explanation:** An equity market-neutral strategy aims to generate returns that are neutral to market movements, relying on the manager's ability to identify and exploit pricing inefficiencies. ## Which of the following is a key characteristic of a well-designed equity market-neutral portfolio? - [ ] High beta - [ ] High exposure to a single industry - [x] Hedged risks related to industry, sector, market capitalization, and currency - [ ] High leverage of more than five times capital > **Explanation:** Well-designed equity market-neutral portfolios hedge risks related to industry, sector, market capitalization, and currency, and typically use moderate leverage. ## What does the term "pairs trading" refer to in equity market-neutral strategies? - [ ] Trading based on economic indicators - [ ] Investing in underperforming sectors - [ ] Trading pairs of unrelated stocks - [x] Simultaneously creating long and short positions in two matched equities > **Explanation:** Pairs trading involves creating simultaneously long and short matched equity portfolios to exploit pricing inefficiencies between related stocks. ## In the example provided, at what price-spread did Raj initiate the pairs trade between Royal Bank of Canada and Toronto Dominion Bank? - [ ] $20.00 - [ ] $25.00 - [x] $21.86 - [ ] $27.50 > **Explanation:** Raj initiated the trade when the price spread between RY and TD was $21.86. ## What does the term "convertible arbitrage" mainly involve? - [ ] Trading based only on interest rates - [ ] Buying convertible bonds and selling common shares - [ ] Trading in speculative penny stocks - [x] Exploiting mispricing between convertible securities and the underlying stock > **Explanation:** Convertible arbitrage aims to exploit the mispricing between convertible securities, such as bonds or preferred shares, and the underlying stock. ## In the fixed-income arbitrage strategy, what does "credit spread arbitrage" primarily seek to exploit? - [ ] Differences in economic growth rates - [ ] Movement of stock indices - [ ] Short-term equity price changes - [x] Pricing anomalies between risky bonds and sovereign bonds with similar maturities > **Explanation:** Credit spread arbitrage seeks to exploit pricing anomalies between risky bonds and sovereign government bonds of similar maturities. ## What is the primary aim of yield spread arbitrage? - [ ] Identifying high-dividend stocks - [ ] Maximizing short-term profit - [x] Exploiting forecasted changes in the shape of a single issuer’s yield curve - [ ] Investing in growth companies > **Explanation:** Yield spread arbitrage attempts to add value by forecasting the changes in the shape of a yield curve, typically of a sovereign issuer. ## According to fixed-income arbitrage, what happens when the yield spread widens, and the manager has shorted the sovereign bond and bought the credit bond? - [ ] A loss on the bond trade - [x] An unrealized capital loss (underwater) - [ ] A guaranteed profit - [ ] No impact on the trade > **Explanation:** If the yield spread widens further after the trade is initiated, the position results in an unrealized capital loss, or being "underwater." ## When does a fixed-income manager initiate the trade in a credit spread arbitrage strategy? - [ ] When yield spreads are equal to zero - [ ] At any given time without analysis - [ ] When the credit bond has no interest payments - [x] When the yield spread is wide, indicating a larger gap than estimated fair spread > **Explanation:** The manager initiates the trade when the yield spread is wide, meaning the spread is larger than what is considered fair, providing an opportunity for profit as the spread narrows.

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Sunday, July 21, 2024