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Why Professionals Hedge. Why IU Hedges (Rarely)

Understanding the Intricacies of Hedging in Financial Markets

Hedging, a critical risk management strategy in the financial sector, is utilized by investors and traders to protect their portfolios from unfavorable market shifts. It involves taking a counterbalancing position in a related asset, acting as a safeguard against potential losses. This approach can be highly beneficial under certain market scenarios, offering a layer of security for investments.

Professional Advantages of Hedging Strategies

Unlike outright closing of positions, which eradicates both risks and potential profits, hedging allows professionals to mitigate risks while retaining market engagement. This technique is vital for the management of intricate portfolios and the realization of long-term investment strategies. Professionals choose hedging for several key reasons:

  • Stabilization of Returns: In the face of market volatility, hedging is a tool for stabilizing returns. It protects against severe market swings, leading to more predictable and consistent portfolio performance, unlike position closures that might forfeit future gains.
  • Strategic Investment Positioning: Hedging enables investors to maintain their principal investments while guarding against downside risks. This approach permits engagement in assets with potential upside, which would be relinquished if positions were simply liquidated.
  • Effective Management of Market Volatility: As a shield in volatile markets, hedging reduces exposure to abrupt market changes, managing risks more effectively than closing positions, which could result in missed opportunities during market recoveries.
  • Enhanced Portfolio Diversification: Hedging aids in diversifying a portfolio, distributing risks across various financial instruments. This is a more nuanced approach than liquidating positions, which might lead to an overconcentration in fewer assets.
  • Securing Large-scale Investments: Hedging is pivotal for protecting the value of extensive portfolios against market downturns. This strategic measure is more effective compared to closing positions, which might incur substantial opportunity costs.
IU’s Conservative Approach to Hedging

At IU, we adopt a conservative and selective stance on hedging, resorting to it infrequently. Our hedging strategy, primarily used in periods of market uncertainty or when clear trends are not evident, is centered around ‘buying time’. This approach allows us to reassess and plan without the immediate threat of losses. Aligned with our commitment to prudent investment and trading tactics, we ensure that our hedging decisions are strategically sound and purposeful.

Since the initiation of our Market Strategy Portfolio (MSP), IU has only engaged in four hedge trades. To learn more about MSP, visit: IU.au/MSP-overview.

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