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Research Papers

Our experts have published extensively in peer-reviewed journals. Pre-publication versions of these papers plus other working papers are available below.

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Displaying 10 out of 13 results

Ex-post Structured Product Returns: Index Methodology and Analysis

By: Geng Deng, Tim Dulaney, Tim Husson, Craig McCann, and Mike Yan

The academic and practitioner literature now includes numerous studies of the substantial issue date mispricing of structured products but there is no large scale study of the ex-post returns earned by structured product investors. This paper augments the current literature by analyzing the ex-post returns of nearly 18,000 individual structured products issued by 13 brokerage firms since 2007. We construct our structured product index and sub-indices for reverse convertibles,...

Efficient Valuation of Equity-Indexed Annuities Under Lévy Processes Using Fourier-Cosine Series

By: Geng Deng, Tim Dulaney, Craig McCann, and Mike Yan

Equity-Indexed Annuities (EIAs) are deferred annuities which accumulate value over time according to crediting formulas and realized equity index returns. We propose an efficient algorithm to value two popular crediting formulas found in EIAs - Annual Point-to-Point (APP) and Monthly Point-to-Point (MPP) - under general Lévy-process based index returns. APP contracts observe returns of referenced indexes annually and credit EIA accounts, subject to minimum and maximum returns. MPP contracts...

Crooked Volatility Smiles: Evidence from Leveraged and Inverse ETF Options

By: Geng Deng, Tim Dulaney, Craig McCann, and Mike Yan

We find that leverage in exchange traded funds (ETFs) can affect the "crookedness" of volatility smiles. This observation is consistent with the intuition that return shocks are inversely correlated with volatility shocks - resulting in more expensive out-of-the-money put options and less expensive out-of-the-money call options. We show that the prices of options on leveraged and inverse ETFs can be used to better calibrate models of stochastic volatility. In particular, we study a...

Valuation of Reverse Convertibles in the VG Economy

By: Geng Deng, Tim Dulaney, and Craig McCann

Prior research on structured products has demonstrated that equity-linked notes sold to retail investors in initial public offerings are typically issued at above their fair market value. A particular type of equity-linked note reverse convertibles embed down-and-in put options and other investors relatively high coupon payments in exchange for bearing some of the downside risk of the equity underlying the note. We analytically study the magnitude of the overpricing of reverse...

Modeling a Risk-Based Criterion for a Portfolio with Options

By: Geng Deng, Tim Dulaney, and Craig McCann

The presence of options in a portfolio fundamentally alters the portfolio's risk and return profiles when compared to an all equity portfolio. In this paper, we advocate modeling a risk-based criterion for optioned portfolio selection and rebalancing problems. The criterion is inspired by Chicago Mercantile Exchange's risk-based margining system which sets the collateralization requirements on margin accounts. The margin criterion computes the losses expected at the portfolio level using...

Robust Portfolio Optimization with VaR Adjusted Sharpe Ratio

By: Geng Deng, Tim Dulaney, Craig McCann, and Olivia Wang

We propose a robust portfolio optimization approach based on Value-at-Risk (VaR) adjusted Sharpe ratios. Traditional Sharpe ratio estimates using a limited series of historical returns are subject to estimation errors. Portfolio optimization based on traditional Sharpe ratios ignores this uncertainty and, as a result, is not robust. In this paper, we propose a robust portfolio optimization model that selects the portfolio with the largest worse-case-scenario Sharpe ratio within a given...

The Priority Senior Secured Income Fund

By: Tim Dulaney, Tim Husson, and Craig McCann

Retail investors are being sold increasingly obscure non-conventional investments. With the Priority Senior Secured Income Fund (PSSI), issuers may have finally gone too far. PSSI is the first registered investment company that invests primarily in leveraged loans and CLOs. Unlike the mutual funds with which most retail investors are familiar, PSSI investors are not able to redeem shares daily at PSSI's net asset value. PSSI is not listed on an exchange and traded like a closed-end fund and...

Structured Product Based Variable Annuities

By: Geng Deng, Tim Dulaney, Tim Husson, and Craig McCann

Recently, a new type of variable annuity has been marketed to investors which is based on structured product-like investments instead of the mutual fund-like investments found in traditional variable annuities. Embedding a structured product into a variable annuity introduces substantial complexity into an investment typically considered conservative. In this paper, we describe structured product based variable annuity (spVA) crediting formulas and how they differ from traditional VAs, value...

Structured Certificates of Deposit: Introduction and Valuation

By: Geng Deng, Tim Dulaney, Tim Husson, and Craig McCann

This paper examines the properties and valuation of market-linked certificates of deposit (structured CDs). Structured CDs are similar to structured products -- debt securities with payoffs linked to market indexes -- but while structured products have garnered significant interest in both the financial media and in the academic literature, structured CDs have received relatively little attention. We review the market for structured CDs in the United States and provide valuations for several...

The Rise and Fall of Apple-linked Structured Products

By: Geng Deng, Tim Dulaney, Craig McCann, and Mike Yan

The rise in Apple's market capitalization in 2012 coincided with a dramatic increase in single-observation reverse convertibles, reverse convertibles and autocallable notes linked to Apple's stock price. These notes all transfer the downside risk of owning Apple to investors but cap the upside at somewhat more than corporate bond yields. Issuers use individual stocks like Apple as the reference obligations for reverse convertible structured products because investors underestimate the risk...

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