Carry Trade

Definition:

For the bond market, this refers to a trade where you borrow and pay interest in order to buy something else that has higher interest. For example, with a positively sloped term structure (short rates lower than long rates), one might borrow at low short term rates and finance the purchase of long-term bonds. The carry return is the coupon on the bonds minus the interest costs of the short-term borrowing. Of course, if long-term interest rates unexpectedly rose(and long-term bond prices fell as a result), the carry trade could become unprofitable. Indeed, if this occured, there could be a number of investors trying to unwind the carry trade, which would involve selling the long-term bonds. It is possible that this could exacerbate the increase in long-term interest rates, i.e. push the rates even higher. For currency, you buy the currency that has the highest local short term interest rate. For more information on currency, see: Currency Carry Trade.

Investing Essentials


Copyright © 2011 Campbell R. Harvey, Professor of Finance, Fuqua School of Business at Duke University

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Statistical inference

A statistical method of drawing conclusions on unknown properties of a population based on a random sampling of data from that population.

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