A methodology for computing and comparing implied equity and corporate-debt Sharpe Ratios

  • Robert S. Goldberg
Original Research


This paper presents a macro-economic methodology for evaluating the forward-looking Sharpe Ratios of the equity and debt components of the United States public company capital structure. Using this framework, it is shown that the equity and debt Sharpe Ratios are both time variant and disparate. The methodology is used to review the risk aversion behavior of equity and debt market participants surrounding the past three major market events, the 1987 crash, the 2000–2001 Internet bubble and the 2008–2009 credit crisis. The forward-looking Sharpe Ratios are used to construct a dynamic portfolio of stocks and corporate bonds that outperforms a static portfolio on a risk-adjusted basis. This paper then offers market segmentation and the differing behavior of equity and corporate bond investors as an explanation for the observed Sharpe Ratios.


Asset allocation Equity premium Debt premium Sharpe Ratio Market segmentation 

JEL Classification

G11 G12 G14 



The author acknowledges with thanks the comments and feedback of Ehud Ronn, Michael Evelyn, Jayen Patel and the anonymous referees. The author remains solely responsible for any errors in the paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Robert B. Willumstad School of BusinessAdelphi UniversityGarden CityUSA

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