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Bond portfolio duration, cash flow dispersion and convexity

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Abstract

Immunization is a well-known fixed-income strategy to lock in a target rate of return over a known investment horizon. This is accomplished by structuring the bonds so that the duration of the portfolio matches the time horizon and then rebalancing the portfolio to maintain the match as time passes and yields change. The structural risk to the strategy can be measured by the cash flow dispersion or by the convexity of the immunizing portfolio. The general relationship between the duration, cash flow dispersion and convexity statistics for any date in the current period is derived in the article. Although both statistics measure the risk, convexity is significantly easier to implement in practice.

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