Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Petitt et al., Fixed Income Analysis, 3d ed.

Fixed Income Analysis, edited by Barbara S. Petitt, Jerald E. Pinto, and Wendy L. Pirie, is part of the CFA Institute Investment Series. Now in its third edition (it was originally published in 2000), the book, nearly 700 pages long and weighing about two and a half pounds, is an exhaustive treatment of fixed-income securities. The text is suitable for both classroom teaching and self-study. It is clear enough for beginners, meaty enough for professionals. It has useful examples, study questions, and an extensive glossary.

The book is divided into six parts: fixed-income essentials, analysis of risk, asset-backed securities, valuation, term structure analysis, and fixed-income portfolio management. The individual chapters are written by both practitioners and academics.

Although this book is aimed at those who either are or want to become fixed-income professionals, I would highly recommend it to serious equity investors as well. Equity investors rarely know as much as they should about fixed-income assets. Their knowledge usually comes to an abrupt halt somewhere in the neighborhood of the yield curve. They cede the fixed-income turf to the “smarter” guys. But, as this book shows, even those with only a modicum of math skills can understand the principles of fixed-income investing. It’s high time for serious equity investors to expand their horizons and perhaps, in the process, better understand their own domain.

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