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Seminar 1 / April 9, 2015 Valuation of International Financial Assets

Probability and Statistics


1. You are invested in two hedge funds. The probability that hedge fund Alpha gen-
erates positive returns in any given year is 60%. The probability that hedge fund
Omega generates positive returns in any given year is 70%. Assume the returns are
independent. What is the probability that both funds generate positive returns in a
given year? What is the probability that both funds lose money?

2. Corporation ABC issues $100 million of bonds. The bonds are rated BBB. The
probability that the rating on the bonds is upgraded within the year us 8%. The
probability of a downgrade is 4%. What is the probability that the rating remains
unchanged?

3. Given the following density function:



c(100 x2 ) for 10 x 10
f (x) =
0 otherwise

Calculate the value of c.

4. Given the probability density function, F (x), for 0 x 10:


x
F (x) = (20 x)
100
Check that this is a valid CDF; that is, show that F (0) = 0 and F (10) = 1. Calculate
the probability density function, f (x).

5. Given the probability density function, f (x):


c
f (x) =
x
where 1 x e. Calculate the cumulative distribution function, F (x), and solve
for the constant c.

6. You own two bonds. Both bonds have a 30% probability of defaulting. Their default
probabilities are statistically independent. What is the probability that both bonds
default? What is the probability that only one bond defaults? What is the probability
that neither bond defaults?

7. Your firm forecasts that there is a 50% probability that the market will be up signif-
icantly next year, a 20% probability that the market will be down significantly next
year, and a 30% probability that the market will be flat, neither up or down signif-
icantly. You are asked to evaluate the prospects of a new portfolio manager. The
manager has a long bias and is likely to perform better in an up market. Based on
past data, you believe that the probability that the manager will be up if the market

Sorin Dumitrescu, PhD, CFA 1


Seminar 1 / April 9, 2015 Valuation of International Financial Assets

is up significantly is 80%, and that the probability that the manager will be up if
the market is down is only 10%. If the market is flat, the manager is just as likely
to be up as to be down. What is the unconditional probability that the manager is
up next year?
8. At the start of the year, a bond portfolio consists of two bonds, each worth $100. At
the end of the year, if a bond defaults, it will be worth $20. If it does not default,
the bond will be worth $100. The probability that both bonds default is 20%. The
probability that neither bond defaults is 45%. What are the mean, median, and
mode of the year-end portfolio?
9. Given the following probability density function:
x
f (x) = s.t. 0 x 10
50
what are the mean, median, and mode of x?
10. Given the following equation:
y = (x + 5)3 + x2 + 10x
what is the expected value of y? Assume the following:
E[x] = 4
E[x2 ] = 9
E[x3 ] = 12

11. Assume that a random variable Y has a mean of zero and a standard deviation of
one. Given two constants, and , calculate the expected value of X1 and X2 , where
X1 and X2 are defined as:
X1 = Y +
X2 = (Y + )

12. X is a random variable. X has an equal probability of being -1, 0, or +1. What is
the correlation between X and Y if Y = X 2 .
13. Prove the following result:
E[(X )3 ] = E[X 3 ] 3 2 3

14. Given two random variables, XA and XB , with corresponding means A and B and
standard deviations A and B , prove that the variance of XA plus XB is:
V ar[XA + XB ] = A2 + B2 + 2AB A B
where AB is the correlation between XA and XB .

Sorin Dumitrescu, PhD, CFA 2


Seminar 1 / April 9, 2015 Valuation of International Financial Assets

15. Assume we have four bonds, each with a 10% probability of defaulting over the next
year. The event of default for any given bond is independent of the other bonds
defaulting. What is the probability that zero, one, two, three, or all of the bonds
default? What is the mean number of defaults? The standard deviation?

16. For a uniform distribution with a lower bound x1 and an upper bound x2 , prove that
the formulas for calculating the mean and variance are:
1
= (x2 + x1 )
2
1
= (x2 x1 )2
2
12

17. Prove that the normal distribution is a proper probability distribution. That is, show
that: Z
1 (x)2
e 22 dx = 1
2 2
Use: Z
2
ex dx =

18. Prove that the mean of the normal distribution is . That is, show that:
Z
1 (x)2
x e 22 dx =
2 2

19. Prove that the variance of a normal distribution is 2 . You may find the following
result useful: Z
2 1
x2 ex dx =
2

Sorin Dumitrescu, PhD, CFA 3