MGT411 - Money & Banking - Lecture Handout 20

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  • Stocks
  • Risk and the Value of Stocks
  • Theory of Efficient Markets
  • Investing in Stocks for Long Run
  • Stock Markets’ Role in the Economy
  • Financial Intermediation
  • Role of Financial Intermediaries

Risk and value of stocks

  • The dividend-discount model must be adjusted to include compensation for a stock’s risk
  • Return to Holding Stock for One Year =

Return to Holding Stock for One Year

  • Since the ultimate future sale price is unknown the stock is risky,
  • The investor will require compensation in the form of a risk premium
  • Required Stock Return (i) = Risk-free Return (rf) + Risk Premium (rp)
  • The risk-free rate can be thought of as the interest rate on a treasury security with a maturity of several months
  • Our dividend discount model becomes:

Our dividend discount model becomes

Risk and value of stocks

  • Stock Prices are high when
  • Current dividends are high (Dtoday is high)
  • Dividends are expected to grow quickly (g is high)
  • The risk-free rate is low (rf is low)
  • The risk premium on equity is low (rp is low)
  • The S&P 500 index finished the year 2003 at just over 1,100. was this level warranted by fundamentals?
  • Risk free real interest rate is about 2% or rf = 0.02
  • Risk premium is assumed to be 4% or rp = 0.04
  • Dividend growth rate is around 2% or g = 0.02
  • The owner of a $1,000 portfolio would have received $30 in dividends during 2003
  • Substituting the information in our adjusted dividend discount model:

adjusted dividend discount model

  • But the actual stock prices were substantially higher than this calculated figure
  • This may be due to wrong assumption on risk premium. The investors may have been demanding lower risk premium in 2003.
  • To compute it, we use the same equation

To compute it, we use the same equation

  • The answer is approximately 2.75%

The Theory of Efficient Markets

  • The basis for the theory of efficient markets is the notion that the prices of all financial instruments, including stocks, reflect all available information
  • As a result, markets adjust immediately and continuously to changes in fundamental values
  • When markets are efficient, the prices at which stocks currently trade reflect all available information, so that future price movements are unpredictable.
  • If the theory is correct then no one can consistently beat the market average; active portfolio management will not yield a return that is higher than that of a broad stock-market index
  • If managers claim to exceed the market average year after year, it may be because
  • They must be taking on risk,
  • They are lucky,
  • They have private information (which is illegal), or
  • Markets are not efficient

Investing in Stocks for the Long Run

  • Stocks appear to be risky, and yet many people hold substantial proportions of their wealth in the form of stock
  • This is due to the difference between the short term and the long term;
  • Investing in stocks is risky only if you hold them for a short time
  • In fact, when held for the long term, stocks are less risky than bonds.

Adjusted for Inflation using the cpi

S&P Long-Run Stock Returns

The Stock Market’s Role in the Economy

  • The stock market plays a crucial role in every modern capitalist economy.
  • The prices determined there tell us the market value of companies, which determines the allocation of resources.
  • Firms with a high stock market value are the ones investors’ prize, so they have an easier time garnering the resources they need to grow.
  • In contrast, firms whose stock value is low have difficulty financing their operations
  • So long as stock prices accurately reflect fundamental values, this resource allocation mechanism works well.
  • At times, however, stock prices deviate significantly from the fundamentals and prices move in ways that are difficult to attribute to changes in the real interest rate, the risk premium, or the growth rate of future dividends.

The Stock Market’s Role in the Economy

  • Shifts in investor psychology may distort prices; both euphoria and depression are contagious
  • When investors become unjustifiably exuberant about the market’s future prospects, prices rise regardless of the fundamentals, and such mass enthusiasm creates bubbles.


  • Bubbles are persistent and expanding gaps between actual stock prices and those warranted by the fundamentals.
  • These bubbles inevitably burst, creating crashes.
  • They affect all of us because they distort the economic decisions companies and consumers make
  • If bubbles result in real investment that is both excessive and inefficiently distributed, crashes do the opposite; the shift to excessive pessimism causes a collapse in investment and economic growth
  • When bubbles grow large enough and result in crashes the stock market can destabilize the real economy

Financial Intermediation

  • Economic well-being is essentially tied to the health of the financial intermediaries that make up the financial system.
  • We know that financial intermediaries are the businesses whose assets and liabilities are primarily financial instruments.
  • Various sorts of banks, brokerage firms, investment companies, insurance companies, and pension funds all fall into this category.
  • These are the institutions that pool funds from people and firms who save and lend them to people and firms who need to borrow
  • Financial intermediaries funnel savers' surplus resources into home mortgages, business loans, and investments.
  • They are involved in both
  • Direct finance—in which borrowers sell securities directly to lenders in the financial markets
  • Indirect finance—in which a third party stands between those who provide funds and those who use them
  • Intermediaries investigate the financial condition of the individuals and firms who want financing to figure out which have the best investment opportunities.
  • As providers of indirect finance, banks want to make loans only to the highest-quality borrowers.
  • When they do their job correctly, financial intermediaries increase investment and economic growth at the same time that they reduce investment risk and economic volatility

Role of Financial Intermediaries

  • As a general rule, indirect finance through financial intermediaries is much more important than direct finance through the stock and bond markets
  • In virtually every country for which we have comprehensive data, credit extended by financial intermediaries is larger as a percentage of GDP than stocks and bonds combined
  • Around the world, firms and individuals draw their financing primarily from banks and other financial intermediaries
  • The reason for this is information;
  • Just think of an online store
  • You can buy virtually EVERYTHING – from $5 dinner plates to $300,000 sports car
  • But you will notice an absence of financial products, like student loans, car loans, credit cards or home mortgages
  • You can not bonds on which issuer is still making payments, nor can you have the services of checking account.
  • Why such online store does not deal in mortgages?
  • Suppose a company needs a mortgage of $100,000 and the store can (if at all) establish a system in which 100 people sign up to lend $1,000 each to the company
  • But the store has to do more
  • Collecting the payments
  • Figuring out how to repay the lenders
  • Writing legal contracts
  • Evaluating the creditworthiness of the company and feasibility of the mortgaged project
  • Can it do it all?
  • Financial intermediaries exist so that individual lenders don’t have to worry about getting answers to all of the important questions concerning a loan and a borrower
  • Lending and borrowing involve transactions costs and information costs, and financial intermediaries exist to reduce these costs
  • Financial intermediaries perform five functions:
    1. They pool the resources of small savers;
    2. They provide safekeeping and accounting services as well as access to the payments system;
    3. They supply liquidity;
    4. They provide ways to diversify risk; and
    5. They collect and process information in ways that reduce information costs

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