Does This Look Like Risk Aversion?

What Is Risk Averse?

The term risk-averse refers to investors who, when faced with two investments with a similar expected return, prefer the lower-risk option. Risk-averse can be contrasted with risk seeking.  – Investopedia

Austrian Century Bond

The price has risen 30% since June alone, when Austria reopened the bond to new buyers.  – Bloomberg, Aug 18th

Risk aversion?  Seriously?

That is how most of the market talking heads are explaining the behavior of global bond markets.   Piling into these bonds here is certainly not the land of the risk-free nor the home of the brave.  Unless buyers are certain the ECB will take them out at 225 in the next round of QE.


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4 Responses to Does This Look Like Risk Aversion?

  1. Miguel Delagos says:

    The Investopedia definition of risk averse makes no sense (like many things on Investopedia). If two investment options offered the *same* expected return, then any rational investor would choose the lower-risk option, maximizing the Sharpe Ratio, regardless of risk aversion/risk seeking. I would argue the two are distinguished by preferences for investments with similar risk-adjusted returns (i.e. Sharpe Ratios). The risk averse investor accepts a lower-return for the perceived security of lower risk.
    Is the increase in Austrian century bond purchases indicative of general risk-aversion? I have no idea. What are the alternatives to these particular investors? Could this just be yield-seeking for liability matching by institutional investors? Not much info to go on here.

    • macromon says:

      I agree with you, Miguel. Was the best def I could find and wanted to contrast with risk-seeking behavior.

      • macromon says:

        What is going on in Euro bond markets is a pure mania dressed up as risk aversion. Bond traders seeking capital gains in long-duration believing they are front running the ECB and why yield curves are all inverted. Cash as in govt guaranteed deposits would be the best alternative now if they truly believe their faux thesis.

  2. Ian MacKenzie says:

    This is retarded! Anyone who buys a 100-year bond is is trading huge risk for a pitiful return.

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