What is constant proportion portfolio insurance (CPPI)?

Understanding Constant Proportion Portfolio Insurance (CPPI)

Constant Proportion Portfolio Insurance (CPPI) allows an investor to maintain exposure to the upside potential of a risky asset while offering a capital guarantee against downside risk. The result of the CPPI strategy is somewhat similar to buying a call option, but it does not use option contracts. Therefore, CPPI is sometimes referred to as a convex strategy, as opposed to a "concave strategy" as a constant mix. Financial institutions sell CPPI products on a variety of risk assets, including stocks and credit default swaps.

KEY TIPS

CPPI is a strategy to combine the advantage of exposure to the equity market with investments in a conservative financial instrument. This is done by assigning a specifically calculated investment percentage to a risk account.

A multiplier is used to determine the amount of risk an investor is willing to take.

Investors can rebalance their positions on a monthly or quarterly basis.

How Constant Proportion Portfolio Insurance (CPPI) Works

The investor will make an initial investment in the risk asset equal to the value of: (Multiplier) x (value of the cushion in dollars) and will invest the rest in the conservative asset. The value of the multiplier is based on the investor's risk profile and is obtained by first asking what the maximum loss in a day of the risk investment could be. The multiplier will be the inverse of that percentage. As the value of the portfolio changes over time, the investor will rebalance according to the same strategy.

CPPI consists of two accounts: a risk account and a security account. As their names indicate, both accounts serve specific purposes in an individual's overall investment strategy. The risk account is leveraged with futures holdings to hedge against the downside of significant exposure to equities. The funds are dynamically transferred between the two accounts based on the economic environment.

The schedule for rebalancing is up to the investor, with monthly or quarterly examples being frequently cited. Typically, CPPI is implemented over five-year periods. Ideally, the value of the cushion will grow over time, allowing more money to flow into the risk asset. However, if the buffer falls, the investor may need to sell a portion of the risk asset to keep the asset allocation targets intact.

One of the problems with implementing a CPPI strategy is that you do not immediately "de-risk" your holdings when markets move in the opposite direction. A hypothetical CPPI strategy on a five-year investment time horizon would have underperformed the S&P 500 for several years after the 2008 financial crisis.

CPPI example

Consider a hypothetical portfolio of $ 100,000, of which the investor decides that $ 90,000 is the absolute floor. If the portfolio falls to $ 90,000 in value, the investor would move all assets to cash to preserve capital.

If one decides that 20 percent is the maximum chance of "falling", the value of the multiplier will be (1 / 0.20), or 5. Multiplier values between 3 and 6 are very common. Based on the information provided, the investor would allocate 5 x ($ 100,000 - $ 90,000) or $ 50,000 to the risk asset, with the remainder going to the cash or conservative asset.

# What is constant proportion portfolio insurance (CPPI)?

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