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SOFR Futures and Options: Essential Tools for Risk Management in Today’s Financial Landscape


The financial markets have experienced significant shifts in recent years, with various instruments evolving to accommodate the changing landscape. One such development is the increasing adoption of the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) as a benchmark for short-term interest rates. This article will explore SOFR futures and options, their role in risk management, and their applications for global intra-day traders, swing traders, and position traders.

What are SOFR Futures and Options?

SOFR futures and options are derivatives contracts based on the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR). The SOFR is an interest rate benchmark that reflects the cost of borrowing cash overnight, collateralized by U.S. Treasury securities. It is published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and has been designed as an alternative to the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR).

SOFR futures and options provide market participants with a means to hedge their exposure to short-term interest rate movements. These instruments have gained considerable traction due to their deep liquidity pools and broad participation from global banks, hedge funds, asset managers, principal trading firms, and other types of traders.

Applications in Risk Management

SOFR futures and options have several applications in risk management for various types of traders:

  1. Interest Rate Hedging: Traders can use SOFR futures and options to hedge their exposure to interest rate fluctuations. As Dr. Glen Brown, President & CEO of Global Financial Engineering and Global Accountancy Institute, states, “SOFR-based derivatives are essential tools for market participants looking to hedge interest rate risk in today’s evolving financial landscape.”
  2. Portfolio Diversification: SOFR futures and options can be utilized to diversify a portfolio, as they offer exposure to different sectors of the economy. Dr. Brown highlights that “incorporating SOFR derivatives into a trading strategy can provide valuable diversification benefits and help manage risk more effectively.”
  3. Trading Strategies: SOFR futures and options can be used to implement various trading strategies, such as spread trading, curve trading, and relative value trading. These strategies can be beneficial for global intra-day traders, swing traders, and position traders, as they seek to capitalize on market inefficiencies and short-term interest rate movements.
  4. Transition from LIBOR: The phase-out of LIBOR has necessitated the adoption of alternative benchmarks like SOFR. “The transition from LIBOR to SOFR has presented both challenges and opportunities for market participants,” says Dr. Brown. “SOFR futures and options have emerged as vital instruments for managing risk during this transition.”


As the financial markets continue to evolve, SOFR futures and options have solidified their position as leading tools for hedging short-term interest rates. With deep liquidity pools and broad participation from various market participants, they offer numerous risk management applications for global intra-day traders, swing traders, and position traders. Dr. Glen Brown’s insights emphasize the growing importance of SOFR derivatives in today’s complex financial landscape, making them essential instruments for effective risk management.

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Intrinsic Value Versus Market Price: Striking the Right Balance for Global Position Traders


The world of finance has always revolved around the delicate balance between intrinsic value and market price. This equilibrium is particularly crucial for Global Position Traders (GPT) employed by the Global Financial Engineering and Global Accountancy Institute. These financial professionals must navigate the complexities of the financial markets while seeking to maximize returns and minimize risks. In this article, we explore the difference between intrinsic value and market price, discuss their relevance in trading, and examine insights from Dr. Glen Brown, the President & CEO of Global Financial Engineering and Global Accountancy Institute.

Intrinsic Value: The True Worth

Intrinsic value refers to the perceived true worth of an asset, considering all relevant factors such as fundamentals, future growth prospects, and risk factors. It represents the actual value of an investment based on an objective analysis of its underlying components. Intrinsic value may not always align with an asset’s market price, which is subject to fluctuations due to market forces and investor sentiment.

Dr. Glen Brown highlights the importance of intrinsic value in trading, stating that “the most successful traders are those who understand and accurately assess the intrinsic value of the assets they trade. This knowledge empowers them to make informed decisions and capitalize on market inefficiencies.”

Market Price: A Snapshot in Time

Market price, on the other hand, is the current value of an asset as determined by buyers and sellers in the market. It is a snapshot of an asset’s worth at a specific point in time and can be influenced by factors such as supply and demand, news events, and overall market sentiment. Market price may not necessarily reflect an asset’s true value, as it can be subject to short-term fluctuations and emotional biases.

Dr. Brown emphasizes the difference between market price and intrinsic value: “Market prices are often driven by the emotions of the market participants. To succeed in trading, it’s essential to differentiate between the market’s perception of an asset and its true worth, as dictated by its intrinsic value.”

Balancing Intrinsic Value and Market Price for Global Position Traders

For Global Position Traders, understanding the balance between intrinsic value and market price is crucial. By identifying discrepancies between an asset’s true worth and its current market value, traders can exploit these inefficiencies to generate returns. The ability to separate intrinsic value from market price allows traders to make informed decisions and maintain a long-term perspective.

Dr. Brown offers some valuable advice to GPTs: “To excel as a Global Position Trader, one must possess a deep understanding of both intrinsic value and market price. This knowledge, combined with discipline and patience, will enable traders to capitalize on market opportunities and achieve long-term success.”


In the ever-evolving world of finance, the ability to discern between intrinsic value and market price is a critical skill for GPTs. By recognizing the true worth of an asset and remaining vigilant in the face of market fluctuations, traders can make informed decisions and harness market inefficiencies for their benefit. As Dr. Glen Brown aptly puts it, “The mastery of intrinsic value and market price is the cornerstone of successful trading, guiding traders through the complexities of the financial markets and setting the stage for long-term success.”

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The role of diversification return in factor portfolios

The Diversification Return has long been supposed to represent the incremental return associated with portfolios that are regularly rebalanced compared to those that are not. In this paper, we test the hypothesis that it can be correctly
associated with a “rebalancing premium” for various factor portfolios. We then go on to determine how much of the
excess return of these factor portfolios may be attributed to the diversification return, and therefore whether or not, a
traditional factor-based explanation of their performance is more appropriate.

The notion of “diversification return” has been widely discussed by academics and practitioners over the years [1, 2, 3, 4,5, 6]. The consensus is that it represents the incremental return associated with portfolios that are regularly rebalanced, compared to those that are not, and consequently, it is often referred to as the “rebalancing premium.”
The idea first surfaced with Fernholz and Shay [1], who used the methods of Stochastic Portfolio Theory to derive an
expression for the log-return of a rebalanced portfolio, in terms of the weighted average of individual stock log-returns and an “excess growth rate.” Later, Booth and Fama [2] provided an independent derivation of this relationship and
furthermore coined the term “diversification return” for the contribution they attributed to the benefits of portfolio
diversification. Both sets of researchers express the diversification return as half the difference between the weighted
average stock volatility of the portfolio’s constituents and the portfolio’s volatility. Hence its contribution is positive and can be readily interpreted as arising from the risk reduction benefit of holding a portfolio rather than individual stocks.

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The derived relationship is elegant, but not universal, as it requires that a portfolio is rebalanced back to a constant
(unchanging) set of portfolio weights. This is quite a restrictive condition as, in most cases, portfolio weights will vary from rebalance to rebalance (for example, to counter decaying factor exposures, or to reduce portfolio risk under changing market conditions). This, however, has not prevented subsequent attempts to widen the scope of the relationship and to draw conclusions about how rebalancing and diversification relates to the return of more general portfolios [5]. Indeed, the concept has even been applied to several smart beta portfolios, leading to the conclusion that the diversification return is the sole source of their excess return [3, 4].

To evaluate the true nature of the diversification return and its role in the performance of factor portfolios, we will construct portfolios that strictly adhere to the conditions under which the diversification return has previously been specified. That is, we will construct portfolios that are regularly rebalanced back to the same set of weights and then examine whether their performance properties are in line with expectations. It is instructive to compare these rebalanced portfolios to the equivalent non-rebalanced portfolios; this allows us to tease out the effect of rebalancing and address the question whether rebalancing is always advantageous. In order to fully realize this comparison, we extend the definition of diversification return to one that is applicable to the non-rebalanced portfolios. Furthermore, we will examine how significant a contribution of the diversification return is to our portfolios’ performance, and compare it to other more traditional sources of excess return.

The structure of this note is as follows. In Section 2, we present a definition of the “diversification return” that may be
applied to both rebalanced and non-rebalanced portfolios. Using this as a starting point, we also derive an approximate result, which we believe is the basis for the widespread belief that “rebalancing is best.” In Section 3, we construct several simple factor portfolios that rebalance back to fixed weights, and compare their performance to equivalent non-rebalanced portfolios. In Section 4, we decompose the geometric return of our rebalanced portfolios into the diversification return and the weighted average stock geometric return (or “strategic return”). We apply this decomposition to determine the dominant contributor to each portfolio’s absolute and relative returns and specify how this relates back to the factor exposure of our portfolios. In Section 5, we draw our conclusions.

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