Expectations Theory

Definition of 'Expectations Theory'


The hypothesis that long-term interest rates contain a prediction of future short-term interest rates. Expectations theory postulates that you would earn the same amount of interest by investing in a one-year bond today and rolling that investment into a new one-year bond a year later compared to buying a two-year bond today.

Investopedia explains 'Expectations Theory'


This theory is sometimes used to explain the yield curve but has proven inaccurate in practice as interest rates tend to remain flat when the yield curve is normal. In other words, expectations theory often overstates future short-term interest rates.

Another term-structure theory, preferred habitat theory, expands on expectations theory to explain why longer-term bonds tend to pay more interest than two shorter-term bonds that add up to the same maturity. It says that investors prefer short-term bonds and are only interested in longer-term bonds if they pay a risk premium. While expectations theory assumes that investors only care about yield, preferred habitat theory assumes they care about maturity as well as yield.



comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Degree Of Financial Leverage - DFL

    A ratio that measures the sensitivity of a company’s earnings per share (EPS) to fluctuations in its operating income, as a result of changes in its capital structure. Degree of Financial Leverage (DFL) measures the percentage change in EPS for a unit change in earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT).
  2. Jeff Bezos

    Self-made billionaire Jeff Bezos is famous for founding online retail giant Amazon.com.
  3. Re-fracking

    Re-fracking is the practice of returning to older wells that had been fracked in the recent past to capitalize on newer, more effective extraction technology. Re-fracking can be effective on especially tight oil deposits – where the shale products low yields – to extend their productivity.
  4. TIMP (acronym)

    'TIMP' is an acronym that stands for 'Turkey, Indonesia, Mexico and Philippines.' Similar to BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China), the acronym was coined by and investor/economist to group fast-growing emerging market economies in similar states of economic development.
  5. Pension Risk Transfer

    When a defined benefit pension provider offloads some or all of the plan’s risk – e.g.: retirement payment liabilities to former employee beneficiaries. The plan sponsor can do this by offering vested plan participants a lump-sum payment to voluntarily leave the plan, or by negotiating with an insurance company to take on the responsibility for paying benefits.
  6. XW

    A symbol used to signify that a security is trading ex-warrant. XW is one of many alphabetic qualifiers that act as a shorthand to tell investors key information about a specific security in a stock quote. These qualifiers should not be confused with ticker symbols, some of which, like qualifiers, are just one or two letters.
Trading Center