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Analyzing currently trending equities could be an opportunity to develop a better portfolio based on different market momentums that they can trigger. Utilizing the top trending stocks is also useful when creating a market-neutral strategy or pair trading technique involving a short or a long position in a currently trending equity.

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The classical approach to portfolio optimization is known as Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT). It involves categorizing the investment universe based on risk (standard deviation) and return, and then choosing the mix of investments that achieves the desired risk-versus-return tradeoff. Portfolio optimization can also be thought of as a risk-management strategy as every type of equity has a distinct return and risk characteristics as well as different systemic risks, which describes how they respond to the market at large. Macroaxis enables investors to optimize portfolios that have a mix of equities (such as stocks, funds, or ETFs) and cryptocurrencies (such as Bitcoin, Ethereum or Monero)
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Check out your portfolio center. Note that this page's information should be used as a complementary analysis to find the right mix of equity instruments to add to your existing portfolios or create a brand new portfolio. You can also try Analyst Recommendations module to analyst recommendations and target price estimates broken down by several categories.

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What is Financial Leverage?

Financial leverage is the use of borrowed money (debt) to finance the purchase of assets with the expectation that the income or capital gain from the new asset will exceed the cost of borrowing. In most cases, the debt provider will limit how much risk it is ready to take and indicate a limit on the extent of the leverage it will allow. In the case of asset-backed lending, the financial provider uses the assets as collateral until the borrower repays the loan. In the case of a cash flow loan, the general creditworthiness of the company is used to back the loan. The concept of leverage is common in the business world. It is mostly used to boost the returns on equity capital of a company, especially when the business is unable to increase its operating efficiency and returns on total investment. Because earnings on borrowing are higher than the interest payable on debt, the company's total earnings will increase, ultimately boosting stockholders' profits.

Leverage and Capital Costs

The debt to equity ratio plays a role in the working average cost of capital (WACC). The overall interest on debt represents the break-even point that must be obtained to profitability in a given venture. Thus, WACC is essentially the average interest an organization owes on the capital it has borrowed for leverage. Let's say equity represents 60% of borrowed capital, and debt is 40%. This results in a financial leverage calculation of 40/60, or 0.6667. The organization owes 10% on all equity and 5% on all debt. That means that the weighted average cost of capital is (.4)(5) + (.6)(10) - or 8%. For every $10,000 borrowed, this organization will owe $800 in interest. Profit must be higher than 8% on the project to offset the cost of interest and justify this leverage.

Benefits of Financial Leverage

Leverage provides the following benefits for companies:
  • Leverage is an essential tool a company's management can use to make the best financing and investment decisions.
  • It provides a variety of financing sources by which the firm can achieve its target earnings.
  • Leverage is also an essential technique in investing as it helps companies set a threshold for the expansion of business operations. For example, it can be used to recommend restrictions on business expansion once the projected return on additional investment is lower than the cost of debt.
By borrowing funds, the firm incurs a debt that must be paid. But, this debt is paid in small installments over a relatively long period of time. This frees funds for more immediate use in the stock market. For example, suppose a company can afford a new factory but will be left with negligible free cash. In that case, it may be better to finance the factory and spend the cash on hand on inputs, labor, or even hold a significant portion as a reserve against unforeseen circumstances.

The Risk of Financial Leverage

The most obvious and apparent risk of leverage is that if price changes unexpectedly, the leveraged position can lead to severe losses. For example, imagine a hedge fund seeded by $50 worth of investor money. The hedge fund borrows another $50 and buys an asset worth $100, leading to a leverage ratio of 2:1. For the investor, this is neither good nor bad -- until the asset price changes. If the asset price goes up 10 percent, the investor earns $10 on $50 of capital, a net gain of 20 percent, and is very pleased with the increased gains from the leverage. However, if the asset price crashes unexpectedly, say by 30 percent, the investor loses $30 on $50 of capital, suffering a 60 percent loss. In other words, the effect of leverage is to increase the volatility of returns and increase the effects of a price change on the asset to the bottom line while increasing the chance for profit as well.