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 represent the maximum expected amount of return vs. risk for a portfolio. In practice investors are not totally rational. They are subject to the effects of framing upon financial scenarios that cause them to choose an option that provides less utility due to cognitive reasoning. This is especially apparent in situations where investors are facing potential losses. Investors have the tendency to overestimate the probability of unlikely events and underestimate the probability of moderately likely events. (Alexander, et al, 1998).
In all practicality most investors are rational and do choose...