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OverviewThe currency market is one of the largest and most liquid financial markets in the world. Currencies like the U.S. dollar, the euro and the yen trade in the foreign exchange (FX) market 24 hours a day, fluctuating in value relative to each other almost constantly.
PIMCO’s FX Strategy taps this market, representing the full expression of PIMCO’s best currency investment ideas and leveraging both our deep macroeconomic expertise and our extensive quantitative research capabilities. Our approach seeks to generate returns by exploiting structural inefficiencies and valuation misalignments in global currency markets, while explicitly managing downside tail risk.
PIMCO’s FX Strategy employs a three-pronged approach combining quantitative, qualitative and tail risk hedging techniques to provide investors an efficient and risk-aware opportunity to benefit from secular changes and shifting valuations in global exchange rates. The FX Strategy is a natural extension of PIMCO’s evolution as a complete global investment solutions provider.
In order to be successful in adding value in currencies, an active manager must have a deep understanding of global macroeconomics and utilize that knowledge to develop forward-looking strategies. PIMCO is one of the largest active global fixed income managers in the world; we have been investing in the currency markets since 1987, and currency strategies are an important component in many of our active fixed income portfolios. PIMCO has devoted extensive resources to developing our expertise in the global financial markets. Our experienced investment professionals around the globe provide valuable strategy ideas as well as insights into local and regional macroeconomic developments and currency policies.
The FX Strategy expresses PIMCO’s best currency investment ideas via a unique three-pronged approach that combines quantitative, qualitative and tail risk hedging techniques:
PIMCO applies the same secular and cyclical investment process we use for bond management to currency management. PIMCO’s currency investment process includes both top-down and bottom-up decision-making.
The PIMCO investment process starts with the PIMCO annual Secular Forum during which the firm develops its three- to five-year outlook for the global economy. In the currency space, we incorporate analysis of relative interest rates, inflation rates, real exchange rates, purchasing power parity, monetary and fiscal policies, trade account balance and current account balance among other factors to determine our long-term currency exposures.
Then, PIMCO investment professionals meet quarterly in Cyclical Economic Forums to evaluate growth and inflation over the business cycle horizon of the next six to 12 months. During this process, we discuss factors that influence exchange rates in the short term, such as flows, market technicals and government policy, in an effort to refine our bottom-up selection process for both long and short currency exposures.
A typical “passive” unhedged portfolio has concentrated, asymmetric risk profile, where the currency risk factor is entangled with other risk factors of equities and fixed income securities. An active currency strategy may separate and manage this risk factor through long, short or neutral exposure to foreign currencies.
PIMCO’s FX Strategy is highly scalable and can be tailored to investors’ risk and return goals. This approach can be implemented as an absolute return strategy or an unfunded overlay strategy, where exposures could be obtained with low levels of invested capital. Return and volatility targets as well as leverage can be customized to meet each investor’s needs.
Another important source of value in an active currency strategy arises from diverging expectations among market participants of the fundamental future value of a currency. While term structure and cash flow models underpin fixed income and equity valuations, no universally acknowledged valuation methodology exists to assess fair value for a particular currency. This lack of consensus on valuation also creates a market inefficiency that an active currency manager seeks to exploit to add value.
Also, secular global economic realignments may be expressed in the form of currency revaluations, providing opportunities for investors to enhance portfolio returns through structural inefficiencies and valuation misalignment in the currency markets.
This material contains the current opinions of the manager and such opinions are subject to change without notice. This material has been distributed for informational purposes only and should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product.
No part of this material may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written permission. Pacific Investment Management Company LLC, 840 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660, 800-387-4626. ©2014, PIMCO.
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