How Risky is Your Retirement Income Risk Model?

Sustainability of adequate lifetime income is a critical portfolio objective for retired investors. There are a number of ways to ascertain the likelihood that a portfolio’s investment strategy is suitable to its cash flow requirements. This article provides a brief review of various retirement income modeling approaches including historical back testing, Monte Carlo simulations, and… Read more »

Actuarial Publications: Patrick Collins et al.

A list of published articles on the topics of Life Insurance and Annuities, Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts and Fiduciary liability for insurance transactions and policy management.   Asset Allocation, Human Capital, and the Demand to Hold Life Insurance in Retirement – Patrick J. Collins, Ph.D., CLU, CFA, and Huy Lam, CFA, Financial Services Review, (Winter,… Read more »

Currency Markets

One of the markets that few investors understand well is the global currency exchange. Most currencies are free floating, which means their relative value can adjust at any time based on the forces of supply and demand. So, when the markets deem the prospects for global growth to be weak while observing that the U.S…. Read more »


The paper begins with a brief recap of recent fiduciary surcharge cases in which defendants were found in breach of their duties because of failure to establish a credible basis upon which to exercise investment discretion. In several cases, the lack of a well-articulated, fully documented, and suitable investment strategy was, in itself, found to… Read more »

Black Swans and Albino Crows – Trustee Communication

Large declines in stock prices are not rare events.  Investors assuming that the distribution of asset price changes conforms to the well-known “normal distribution” [Gaussian distribution], however, may be startled by the frequency and magnitude of asset price declines. This essay compares the historical behavior of stock price movements to the behavior that the normal… Read more »

Well-Performing Portfolios and Well-Disguised Insolvency

A bear market puts a premium on a trustee’s ability to discharge effectively the duty to monitor the trust portfolio in terms of its ability to discharge Settlor objectives and to meet beneficiary expectations.  Although portfolio performance communication often consists of either merely reporting returns relative to a benchmark, or of providing lengthy transaction histories,… Read more »

Update on the Value Premium

Empirically, in most countries, the long-term realized returns from value stocks are greater than growth stock returns.  Why this should be so, however, remains a puzzle.  Indeed, in some recent years, the value premium is negative when measured by the returns of certain value and growth stock indexes.  Indeed, some commentators suspect that the value… Read more »

Bond Strategies in the Face of Rising Interest Rates

Many investors understand maximizing return as the obvious primary goal of investing. Yet most financial economists would argue that the primary purpose of a portfolio is, not to maximize return, but to enhance the likelihood of achieving specified financial objectives at an acceptable level of risk. Returns are great; risk, less so. Yet the opportunity… Read more »

Understanding Inverse Leveraged ETFs – Advanced

This is a working paper authored by Patrick Collins on Inverse Leveraged Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). It is a moderately advanced article laced with some complex investment concepts and calculations. Like artificial sweeteners to your health, Inverse Leveraged investments can be dangerous your investment portfolio. Although this study does not argue that inverse leveraged ETFs… Read more »

Chicken Little and the Financial Crisis

The pipe dream of all investors is to achieve attractive investment return with little or no risk. Some financial firms capitalize on this dream by shaping their marketing campaigns accordingly. The implication is that the firm has the expertise to identify forthcoming market declines—the new catchphrase is “market bubbles”—and to guide investors safely through periods… Read more »