Reading 42 Portfolio Risk and Return: Part II (Intro)
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Our objective in this reading is to identify the optimal risky portfolio for all investors by using the capital asset pricing model (CAPM). The foundation of this reading is the computation of risk and return of a portfolio and the role that correlation plays in diversifying portfolio risk and arriving at the efficient frontier. The efficient frontier and the capital allocation line consist of portfolios that are generally acceptable to all investors. By combining an investor’s individual indifference curves with the market-determined capital allocation line, we are able to illustrate that the only optimal risky portfolio for an investor is the portfolio of all risky assets (i.e., the market).
Additionally, we discuss the capital market line, a special case of the capital allocation line that is used for passive investor portfolios. We also differentiate between systematic and nonsystematic risk, and explain why investors are compensated for bearing systematic risk but receive no compensation for bearing nonsystematic risk. We discuss in detail the CAPM, which is a simple model for estimating asset returns based only on the asset’s systematic risk. Finally, we illustrate how the CAPM allows security selection to build an optimal portfolio for an investor by changing the asset mix beyond a passive market portfolio.