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Portfolio Diversification and International Corporate Bonds


  • Liu, Edith X.


This article examines the benefits of corporate bond diversification for U.S. investors. Analysis of a newly compiled bond-level data set for 2000–2010 finds that diversification with corporate bonds can significantly reduce volatility and increase risk-adjusted returns for U.S. investors. Unlike diversification with equities, corporate bonds offer significant out-of-sample risk reduction, particularly during the recent financial crisis. Risk-reduction gains are large even when the benchmark includes international equities or when longer samples of equities and sovereign bonds are used to inform corporate bond returns. Finally, significant risk-reduction gains remain after accounting for bond characteristics, liquidity, and informational costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Liu, Edith X., 2016. "Portfolio Diversification and International Corporate Bonds," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 51(3), pages 959-983, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jfinqa:v:51:y:2016:i:03:p:959-983_00

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    Cited by:

    1. Stig Helberg & Snorre Lindset, 2020. "Collateral affects return risk: evidence from the euro bond market," Financial Markets and Portfolio Management, Springer;Swiss Society for Financial Market Research, vol. 34(1), pages 99-128, March.
    2. Bekaert, Geert & De Santis, Roberto A., 2021. "Risk and return in international corporate bond markets," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 72(C).
    3. Benjamin Hippert & André Uhde & Sascha Tobias Wengerek, 2019. "Portfolio benefits of adding corporate credit default swap indices: evidence from North America and Europe," Review of Derivatives Research, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 203-259, July.
    4. Jonathan Fletcher, 2022. "Exploring the diversification benefits of US international equity closed-end funds," Financial Markets and Portfolio Management, Springer;Swiss Society for Financial Market Research, vol. 36(3), pages 297-320, September.
    5. Fletcher, Jonathan, 2018. "Betas V characteristics: Do stock characteristics enhance the investment opportunity set in U.K. stock returns?," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 114-129.
    6. Azra Zaimovic & Adna Omanovic & Almira Arnaut-Berilo, 2021. "How Many Stocks Are Sufficient for Equity Portfolio Diversification? A Review of the Literature," JRFM, MDPI, vol. 14(11), pages 1-30, November.
    7. Fletcher, Jonathan, 2018. "An empirical examination of the diversification benefits of U.K. international equity closed-end funds," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 23-34.
    8. Demiralay, Sercan & Gencer, Hatice Gaye & Bayraci, Selcuk, 2021. "How do Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Stocks co-move with traditional and alternative assets in the age of the 4th industrial revolution? Implications and Insights for the COVID-19 period," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 171(C).
    9. Marie Brière & Ariane Szafarz, 2021. "When it rains, it pours: Multifactor asset management in good and bad times," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 44(3), pages 641-669, September.
    10. Nguyen, Duc Khuong & Topaloglou, Nikolas & Walther, Thomas, 2020. "Asset Classes and Portfolio Diversification: Evidence from a Stochastic Spanning Approach," MPRA Paper 103870, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Fletcher, Jonathan, 2021. "International equity U.S. mutual funds and diversification benefits," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 246-257.

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