Residual Inflation Risk

69 Pages Posted: 25 Aug 2007 Last revised: 23 Dec 2016

See all articles by Philipp K. Illeditsch

Philipp K. Illeditsch

University of Pennsylvania - Finance Department

Date Written: December 1, 2016


I decompose inflation risk into (i) a component that is correlated with factors that determine investor’s preferences and investment opportunities and real returns on real assets with risky cash flows (stocks, corporate bonds, real estate, commodities, etc.), and (ii) a residual inflation risk component. In equilibrium, only the first component earns a risk premium. Therefore investors should avoid exposure to the residual component. All nominal bonds, including the money-market account, have constant nominal cash flows and thus their real returns are equally exposed to residual inflation risk. In contrast, inflation-protected bonds provide a means to avoid cash flow and residual inflation risk. Hence, every investor should put 100% of her wealth in real assets (inflation- protected bonds, stocks, corporate bonds, real estate, commodities, etc.), and finance every long/short position in nominal bonds with an equal amount of other nominal bonds or by borrowing/lending cash, that is, investors should hold a zero-investment portfolio of nominal bonds and cash.

Keywords: Inflation Risk, Nominal Bonds, Cash, Money Market Account, Inflation-Protected Bonds, Inflation-Indexed Bonds, TIPS, Dynamic Asset Al- location, Portfolio Choice

JEL Classification: G11

Suggested Citation

Illeditsch, Philipp K., Residual Inflation Risk (December 1, 2016). Available at SSRN: or

Philipp K. Illeditsch (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - Finance Department ( email )

The Wharton School
3620 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
215-898-3477 (Phone)

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