V.11:3 (140-143): Trading Bond And Currency Funds by Joe Duarte

V.11:3 (140-143): Trading Bond And Currency Funds by Joe Duarte
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Trading Bond And Currency Funds by Joe Duarte

Today's broad selection of different types of mutual funds allows traders to allocate assets based on personal expectations of changes in the stock market, interest rates and currencies. S&C contributor and newsletter publisher Joe Duarte presents his methods to increase gains in a portfolio by including currency-based mutual funds as a choice for instruments.

Asset allocation has become a popular investment strategy. In this strategy, capital is usually divided into stocks, bonds and cash, and capital is transferred from one category to another based on whichever trading method the portfolio manager favors, technical or otherwise. During periods of economic retrenchment, however, asset allocation models may have low returns because portfolio managers choose to increase their portfolios' cash positions because they fear falling stock prices. Recessions usually lead to lower interest rates, reducing a portfolio's cash portion return. Often, during periods of economic weakness technical conditions favor taking the increased risk of long-term bonds and foreign currencies to enhance the return on the cash portion of the asset allocation portfolio.


Here's a review of the variables involved. Falling bond prices lead to higher bond yields. These rising interest rates make a country's currency more attractive to traders. In our global fiat monetary system, a government's promise to make its currency legal tender provides that currency's sole backing. The recent European currency crisis illustrated this point well, as falling currencies led to extreme volatility in European bond and currency markets.

Bond market volatility, which usually reflects market participants' perceptions of a nation's political and economic conditions, creates ample opportunity to trade in both bonds and currencies. By trading both markets simultaneously when it is warranted, traders can enhance their profits by dividing their assets between both sectors. In previous STOCKS & COMMODITIES articles, I have described different methods of participating in the currency and bond markets via mutual funds. Here, I will describe a combination of methods to create an interdependent trading system.

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