Basis Trading

Definition of 'Basis Trading'


An arbitrage trading strategy that aims to profit from perceived mispricing of similar securities. Basis trading relates to a trading strategy in which a trader believes that two similar securities are mispriced relative to each other, and the trader will take opposing long and short positions in the two securities in order to profit from the convergence of their values. The strategy is known as basis trading, because it typically aims to profit off very small basis point changes in value between two securities.

Investopedia explains 'Basis Trading'


For example, a basis trader may view two similar bonds as mispriced and take a long position in the bond deemed to be undervalued, and a short position in the bond which would then be seen as overvalued. The trader's hope is that the undervalued bond will appreciate relative to the overpriced bond, thus netting him a profit from his positions. For the trader to make a worthwhile profit, he would have to undertake a large amount of leverage in order to increase the size of his positions. This use of large degrees of leverage is the greatest risk involved in basis trading.



comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Direct Consolidation Loan

    A loan that combines two or more federal education loans into a single loan. A Direct Consolidation Loan allows the borrower to make a single monthly payment. The loan is facilitated by the U.S. Department of Education and does not require borrowers to pay an application fee.
  2. Through Fund

    A type of target-date retirement fund whose asset allocation includes higher risk and potentially higher return investments "through" the fund's target date and beyond.
  3. Last In, First Out - LIFO

    An asset-management and valuation method that assumes that assets produced or acquired last are the ones that are used, sold or disposed of first.
  4. American Dream

    The belief that anyone, regardless of where they were born or what class they were born into, can attain their own version of success in a society where upward mobility is possible for everyone. The American dream is achieved through sacrifice, risk-taking and hard work, not by chance.
  5. Texas Ratio

    A ratio developed by Gerald Cassidy and other analysts at RDC Capital Markets to measure the credit problems of particular banks or regions of banks. The Texas ratio takes the amount of a bank's non-performing assets and loans, as well as loans delinquent for more than 90 days, and divides this number by the firm's tangible capital equity plus its loan loss reserve.
  6. Amortized Bond

    A financial certificate that has been reduced in value for records on accounting statements. An amortized bond is one that is treated as an asset, with the discount amount being amortized to interest expense over the life of the bond. If a bond is issued at a discount - that is, offered for sale below its par (face value) - the discount must be treated either as an expense or it can be amortized as an asset.
Trading Center