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The Yield Curve


The yield curve is a graph that plots the yields of similar-quality debt instruments against their maturities, ranging from shortest to longest. The yield curve is is also known as the term structure of interest rates. As yield curve shows the various yields that are currently being offered on debt instruments of different maturities it helps investors quickly compare the yields offered by short-term, medium-term and long-term debt instruments.

The yield curve can take three primary shapes. If short-term yields are lower than long-term yields i.e.the line is sloping upwards, then the curve is referred to a positive (or “normal”) yield curve. Below you’ll find an example of a normal yield curve.
 

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Confusing Uncertainity With Risk


wealthymatters.comHere is an extract  from the article ‘ Investors will miss out if they confuse uncertainity with risk ‘ by Whitney Tilson published in the Financial Times on 16 Feb 2008.I think confusing uncertainity with risk is precisely what happened pre-budget in India this year. And this confusion is something that happens to a greater or lesser extent every year before the budget.The same thing happens before the final decision is taken on any government policy. So if a  stock investor remembers that there is a difference between uncertainity and risk he/she can sometimes buy shares cheap.Risk means the chance of a loss of capital. Uncertainty is the range of different outcomes. So a stock may have high uncertainty but may not be risky, if no one knows what will happen but the worst case scenario would not results in a huge loss.

“Dealing with uncertainty is always a key challenge for investors. But dealing with uncertainty doesn’t mean avoiding it – on the contrary, it is often fuzziness about a company’s future that creates the type of opportunity bargain-hunting investors cherish.Wall Street in the main hates uncertainty, which manifests itself in depressed share prices of companies whose prospects lack “visibility.” But where the market can err is in confusing uncertainty with risk. Just because a company’s future is highly uncertain doesn’t mean an investment in it is risky. In fact, some of the best potential investments are highly uncertain, but have little risk of permanent capital loss. As hedge-fund manager Mohnish Pabrai describes it in his book, The Dhandho Investor: “Heads, I win; tails, I don’t lose much.” Read more of this post
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