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Is Your Portfolio Positioned for Shifts in Risk Aversion?

This article examines how stock exposures to the Volatility factor, as defined in the Barra Global Equity Model 2 (GEM2), can be used to understand how a portfolio is positioned for changes in risk aversion. In a previous note “The Volatility Factor and Risk Aversion,” presented in the Q1 2012 newsletter, we explained how returns to the Volatility factor can provide a measure of investors’ risk appetite. Now we extend this analysis and show how specific groups of stocks, like those exposed to a certain country or industry, are also exposed to the Barra Volatility factor.