# SOCIETY OF ACTUARIES FINANCIAL MATHEMATICS. EXAM FM SAMPLE QUESTIONS Financial Economics

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1 SOCIETY OF ACTUARIES EXAM FM FINANCIAL MATHEMATICS EXAM FM SAMPLE QUESTIONS Financial Economics June 2014 changes Questions 1-30 are from the prior version of this document. They have been edited to conform more closely to current question writing style, but are unchanged in content. Question 31 is the former Question 58 from the interest theory question set. Questions are new. January 2015 changes Questions are new. May 2015 changes Question 32 was modified (and re-modified in June) Questions are new. Some of the questions in this study note are taken from past examinations. These questions are representative of the types of questions that might be asked of candidates sitting for the Financial Mathematics (FM) Exam. These questions are intended to represent the depth of understanding required of candidates. The distribution of questions by topic is not intended to represent the distribution of questions on future exams. Copyright 2015 by the Society of Actuaries. FM PRINTED IN U.S.A. 1

2 1. Determine which statement about zero-cost purchased collars is FALSE A zero-width, zero-cost collar can be created by setting both the put and call strike prices at the forward price. There are an infinite number of zero-cost collars. The put option can be at-the-money. The call option can be at-the-money. The strike price on the put option must be at or below the forward price. 2. You are given the following: The current price to buy one share of XYZ stock is 500. The stock does not pay dividends. The annual risk-free interest rate, compounded continuously, is 6%. A European call option on one share of XYZ stock with a strike price of K that expires in one year costs A European put option on one share of XYZ stock with a strike price of K that expires in one year costs Using put-call parity, calculate the strike price, K

3 3. Happy Jalapenos, LLC has an exclusive contract to supply jalapeno peppers to the organizers of the annual jalapeno eating contest. The contract states that the contest organizers will take delivery of 10,000 jalapenos in one year at the market price. It will cost Happy Jalapenos 1,000 to provide 10,000 jalapenos and today s market price is 0.12 for one jalapeno. The continuously compounded annual risk-free interest rate is 6%. Happy Jalapenos has decided to hedge as follows: Buy 10, strike put options for and sell 10, stike call options for Both options are one-year European. Happy Jalapenos believes the market price in one year will be somewhere between 0.10 and 0.15 per jalapeno. Determine which of the following intervals represents the range of possible profit one year from now for Happy Jalapenos. 200 to to to to to 400 3

4 4. Zero-coupon risk-free bonds are available with the following maturities and annual effective yield rates: Maturity (years) Yield Rate Susan needs to buy corn for producing ethanol. She wants to purchase 10,000 bushels one year from now, 15,000 bushels two years from now, and 20,000 bushels three years from now. The current forward prices, per bushel, are 3.89, 4.11, and 4.16 for one, two, and three years respectively. Susan wants to enter into a commodity swap to lock in these prices. Determine which of the following sequences of payments at times one, two, and three will NOT be acceptable to Susan and to the corn supplier. 38,900; 61,650; 83,200 39,083; 61,650; 82,039 40,777; 61,166; 81,554 41,892; 62,340; 78,997 60,184; 60,184; 60,184 4

5 5. The PS index has the following characteristics: One share of the PS index currently sells for 1,000. The PS index does not pay dividends. Sam wants to lock in the ability to buy this index in one year for a price of 1,025. He can do this by buying or selling European put and call options with a strike price of 1,025. The annual effective risk-free interest rate is 5%. Determine which of the following gives the hedging strategy that will achieve Sam s objective and also gives the cost today of establishing this position. Buy the put and sell the call, receive Buy the put and sell the call, spend Buy the put and sell the call, no cost Buy the call and sell the put, receive Buy the call and sell the put, spend The following relates to one share of XYZ stock: The current price is 100. The forward price for delivery in one year is 105. P is the expected price in one year Determine which of the following statements about P is TRUE. P < 100 P = < P < 105 P = 105 P > 105 5

8 10. Stock XYZ has a current price of 100. The forward price for delivery of this stock in 1 year is 110. Unless otherwise indicated, the stock pays no dividends and the annual effective risk-free interest rate is 10%. Determine which of the following statements is FALSE. The time-1 profit diagram and the time-1 payoff diagram for long positions in this forward contract are identical. The time-1 profit for a long position in this forward contract is exactly opposite to the time-1 profit for the corresponding short forward position. There is no comparative advantage to investing in the stock versus investing in the forward contract. If the 10% interest rate was continuously compounded instead of annual effective, then it would be more beneficial to invest in the stock, rather than the forward contract. If there was a dividend of 3.00 paid 6 months from now, then it would be more beneficial to invest in the stock, rather than the forward contract. 8

9 11. Stock XYZ has the following characteristics: The current price is 40. The price of a 35-strike 1-year European call option is The price of a 40-strike 1-year European call option is The price of a 45-strike 1-year European call option is The annual effective risk-free interest rate is 8%. Let S be the price of the stock one year from now. All call positions being compared are long. Determine the range for S such that the 45-strike call produce a higher profit than the 40- strike call, but a lower profit than the 35-strike call. S < < S < < S < S > The range is empty. 12. Consider a European put option on a stock index without dividends, with 6 months to expiration and a strike price of 1,000. Suppose that the annual nominal risk-free rate is 4% convertible semiannually, and that the put costs today. Calculate the price that the index must be in 6 months so that being long in the put would produce the same profit as being short in the put , , ,

10 13. A trader shorts one share of a stock index for 50 and buys a 60-strike European call option on that stock that expires in 2 years for 10. Assume the annual effective risk-free interest rate is 3%. The stock index increases to 75 after 2 years. Calculate the profit on your combined position, and determine an alternative name for this combined position. Profit Name Floor Floor Cap Cap Written Covered Call 14. The current price of a non-dividend paying stock is 40 and the continuously compounded annual risk-free rate of return is 8%. You are given that the price of a 35-strike call option is 3.35 higher than the price of a 40-strike call option, where both options expire in 3 months. Calculate the amount by which the price of an otherwise equivalent 40-strike put option exceeds the price of an otherwise equivalent 35-strike put option

11 15. The current price of a non-dividend paying stock is 40 and the continuously compounded annual risk-free rate of return is 8%. You enter into a short position on 3 call options, each with 3 months to maturity, a strike price of 35, and an option premium of Simultaneously, you enter into a long position on 5 call options, each with 3 months to maturity, a strike price of 40, and an option premium of All 8 options are held until maturity. Calculate the maximum possible profit and the maximum possible loss for the entire option portfolio. Maximum Profit Maximum Loss Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 11

12 16. The current price of a non-dividend paying stock is 40 and the continuously compounded annual risk-free rate of return is 8%. The following table shows call and put option premiums for three-month European of various exercise prices: Exercise Price Call Premium Put Premium A trader interested in speculating on volatility in the stock price is considering two investment strategies. The first is a 40-strike straddle. The second is a strangle consisting of a 35-strike put and a 45-strike call. Determine the range of stock prices in 3 months for which the strangle outperforms the straddle. The strangle never outperforms the straddle < ST < < ST < < ST < The strangle always outperforms the straddle. 12

13 17. The current price for a stock index is 1,000. The following premiums exist for various options to buy or sell the stock index six months from now: Strike Price Call Premium Put Premium , , Strategy I is to buy the 1,050-strike call and to sell the 950-strike call. Strategy II is to buy the 1,050-strike put and to sell the 950-strike put. Strategy III is to buy the 950-strike call, sell the 1,000-strike call, sell the 950-strike put, and buy the 1,000-strike put. Assume that the price of the stock index in 6 months will be between 950 and 1,050. Determine which, if any, of the three strategies will have greater payoffs in six months for lower prices of the stock index than for relatively higher prices. None I and II only I and III only II and III only The correct answer is not given by,,, or 13

14 18. A jeweler buys gold, which is the primary input needed for her products. One ounce of gold can be used to produce one unit of jewelry. The cost of all other inputs is negligible. She is able to sell each unit of jewelry for 700 plus 20% of the market price of gold in one year. In one year, the actual price of gold will be in one of three possible states, corresponding to the following probability table: Market Price of Gold in one year 750 per ounce per ounce per ounce 0.3 Probability The jeweler is considering using forward contracts to lock in 1-year gold prices, in which case she would charge the customer (one year from now) 700 plus 20% of the forward price. The 1-year forward price for gold is 850 per ounce. Calculate the increase in the expected 1-year profit, per unit of jewelry sold, that results from buying forward the 1-year price of gold

15 19. A producer of gold has expenses of 800 per ounce of gold produced. Assume that the cost of all other production-related expenses is negligible and that the producer will be able to sell all gold produced at the market price. In one year, the market price of gold will be one of three possible prices, corresponding to the following probability table: Gold Price in one year 750 per ounce per ounce per ounce 0.3 Probability The producer hedges the price of gold by buying a 1-year put option with an exercise price of 900 per ounce. The option costs 100 per ounce now, and the continuously compounded annual risk-free interest rate is 6%. Calculate the expected 1-year profit per ounce of gold produced The current price of a stock is 200, and the continuously compounded annual risk-free interest rate is 4%. A dividend will be paid every quarter for the next 3 years, with the first dividend occurring 3 months from now. The amount of the first dividend is 1.50, but each subsequent dividend will be 1% higher than the one previously paid. Calculate the fair price of a 3-year forward contract on this stock

16 21. A market maker in stock index forward contracts observes a 6-month forward price of 112 on the index. The index spot price is 110 and the continuously compounded annual dividend yield on the index is 2%. The continuously compounded risk-free interest rate is 5%. Describe actions the market maker could take to exploit an arbitrage opportunity and calculate the resulting profit (per index unit). Buy observed forward, sell synthetic forward, Profit = 0.34 Buy observed forward, sell synthetic forward, Profit = 0.78 Buy observed forward, sell synthetic forward, Profit = 1.35 Sell observed forward, buy synthetic forward, Profit = 0.78 Sell observed forward, buy synthetic forward, Profit = A farmer expects to sell 50 tons of pork bellies at the end of each of the next 3 years. Pork bellies forward price for delivery in 1 year is 1600 per ton. For delivery in 2 years, the forward price is 1700 per ton. Also, for delivery in 3 years, the forward price is 1800 per ton. Suppose that interest rates are determined from the following table: Years to Maturity Zero-Coupon Bond Yield % % % The farmer uses a commodity swap to hedge the price for selling pork bellies. Calculate the level amount he will receive each year (i., the swap price) for 50 tons. 84,600 84,800 85,000 85,200 85,400 16

17 23. You are given the following spot rates: Years to Maturity Spot Rate 4.00% 4.50% 5.25% 6.25% 7.50% You enter into a 5-year interest rate swap (with a notional amount of 100,000) to pay a fixed rate and to receive a floating rate based on future 1-year LIBOR rates. If the swap has annual payments, what is the fixed rate you should pay? 5.20% 5.70% 6.20% 6.70% 7.20% 24. Determine which of the following statements is NOT a typical reason for why derivative securities are used to manage financial risk. Derivatives are used as a means of hedging. Derivatives are used to reduce the likelihood of bankruptcy. Derivatives are used to reduce transaction costs. Derivatives are used to satisfy regulatory, tax, and accounting constraints. Derivatives are used as a form of insurance. 17

18 25. Determine which of the following statements concerning risk sharing, in the context of financial risk management, is LEAST accurate. In an insurance market, individuals that do not incur losses have shared risk with individuals that do incur losses. Insurance companies can share risk by ceding some of the excess risk from large claims to reinsurers. Reinsurance companies can further share risk by investing in catastrophe bonds. Risk sharing reduces diversifiable risk, more so than reducing nondiversifiable risk. Ideally, any risk-sharing mechanism should benefit all parties sharing the risk. 26. Determine which, if any, of the following positions has or have an unlimited loss potential from adverse price movement in the underlying asset, regardless of the initial premium received. I. Short 1 forward contract II. III. Short 1 call option Short 1 put option None I and II only I and III only II and III only The correct answer is not given by,,, or 18

19 27. Determine which of the following positions benefit from falling prices in the underlying asset. I. Long one homeowner s insurance contract (where the falling price is due to damage covered by the insurance) II. III. Long one equity-linked CD Long one synthetic forward contract I only II only III only I, II, and III The correct answer is not given by,,, or 28. Determine which of the following is NOT among a firm s rationales to hedge. To reduce taxes through income shifting To reduce the probability of bankruptcy or distress To reduce the costs associated with external financing To reduce the exposure to exchange rate risk To reduce the debt proportion of external financing 19

20 29. The dividend yield on a stock and the interest rate used to discount the stock s cash flows are both continuously compounded. The dividend yield is less than the interest rate, but both are positive. The following table shows four methods to buy the stock and the total payment needed for each method. The payment amounts are as of the time of payment and have not been discounted to the present date. METHOD Outright purchase Fully leveraged purchase Prepaid forward contract Forward contract TOTAL PAYMENT A B C D Determine which of the following is the correct ranking, from smallest to largest, for the amount of payment needed to acquire the stock. C < A < D < B A < C < D < B D < C < A < B C < A < B < D A < C < B < D 20

21 30. Determine which of the following is NOT a distinguishing characteristic of futures contracts, relative to forward contracts. Contracts are settled daily, and marked-to-market. Contracts are more liquid, as one can offset an obligation by taking the opposite position. Contracts are more customized to suit the buyer s needs. Contracts are structured to minimize the effects of credit risk. Contracts have price limits, beyond which trading may be temporarily halted. 31. (formerly Question 58 from the Interest Theory section) You are given the following information: (i) The current price of stock A is 50. (ii) Stock A will not pay any dividends in the next year. (iii) The annual effective risk-free interest rate is 6%. (iv) Each transaction costs 1. (v) There are no transaction costs when the forward is settled. Based on no arbitrage, calculate the maximum price of a one-year forward

22 32. Judy decides to take a short position in 20 contracts of S&P 500 futures. Each contract is for the delivery of 250 units of the index at a price of 1500 per unit, exactly one month from now. The initial margin is 5% of the notional value, and the maintenance margin is 90% of the initial margin. Judy earns an annual continuously compounded interest rate of 4% on her margin balance. The position is marked-to-market on a daily basis. On the day of the first marking-to-market, the value of the index drops to On the day of the second marking-to-market, the value of the index is X and Judy is not required to add anything to the margin account. Calculate the largest possible value of X

23 33. Several years ago, John bought three separate 6-month options on the same stock. Option I was an American-style put with strike price 20. Option II was a Bermuda-style call with strike price 25, where exercise was allowed at any time following an initial 3-month period of call protection. Option III was a European-style put with strike price 30. When the options were bought, the stock price was 20. When the options expired, the stock price was 26. The table below gives the maximum and minimum stock price during the 6 month period: Time Period: 1 st 3 months of Option Term 2 nd 3 months of Option Term Maximum Stock Price Minimum Stock Price John exercised each option at the optimal time. Rank the three options, from highest to lowest payoff. I > II > III I > III > II II > I > III III > I > II III > II > I 23

25 36. A firm has a 40% tax rate on profits and receives no tax credit for losses. In the current year, the firm has a 50% probability of a pre-tax profit of 500,000 and a 50% probability of a pre-tax loss of 300,000. The firm purchases a derivative to lock in a pre-tax profit of 75,000. Calculate the change in the expected after-tax profit as a result of the purchase. 25,000 15,000 25,000 45,000 75, A one-year forward contract on a stock has a price of \$75. The stock is expected to pay a dividend of \$1.50 at two future times, six months from now and one year from now, and the annual effective risk-free interest rate is 6%. Calculate the current stock price

26 38. The current price of a medical company s stock is 75. The expected value of the stock price in three years is 90 per share. The stock pays no dividends. You are also given i) The risk-free interest rate is positive. ii) iii) There are no transaction costs. Investors require compensation for risk. The price of a three-year forward on a share of this stock is X, and at this price an investor is willing to enter into the forward. Determine what can be concluded about X. X < 75 X = < X < 90 X = < X 39. Determine which of the following strategies creates a ratio spread, assuming all options are European. Buy a one-year call, and sell a three-year call with the same strike price. Buy a one-year call, and sell a three-year call with a different strike price. Buy a one-year call, and buy three one-year calls with a different strike price. Buy a one-year call, and sell three one-year puts with a different strike price. Buy a one-year call, and sell three one-year calls with a different strike price. 26

27 40. An investor is analyzing the costs of two-year, European options for aluminum and zinc at a particular strike price. For each ton of aluminum, the two-year forward price is 1400, a call option costs 700, and a put option costs 550. For each ton of zinc, the two-year forward price is 1600 and a put option costs 550. The risk-free annual effective interest rate is a constant 6%. Calculate the cost of a call option per ton of zinc XYZ stock pays no dividends and its current price is 100. Assume the put, the call and the forward on XYZ stock are available and are priced so there are no arbitrage opportunities. Also, assume there are no transaction costs. The current risk-free annual effective interest rate is 1%. Determine which of the following strategies currently has the highest net premium. Long a six-month 100-strike put and short a six-month 100-strike call Long a six-month forward on the stock Long a six-month 101-strike put and short a six-month 101-strike call Short a six-month forward on the stock Long a six-month 105-strike put and short a six-month 105-strike call 27

28 42. An investor purchases a non-dividend-paying stock and writes a t-year, European call option for this stock, with call premium C. The stock price at time of purchase and strike price are both K. Assume that there are no transaction costs. The risk-free annual force of interest is a constant r. Let S represent the stock price at time t. S > K. Determine an algebraic expression for the investor s profit at expiration. rt Ce C(1 rt) S K rt Ce S K rt rt Ce K 1 e t C(1 r) K 1 (1 r) t 28

29 43. You are given: i) An investor short-sells a non-dividend paying stock that has a current price of 44 per share. ii) iii) This investor also writes a collar on this stock consisting of a 40-strike European put option and a 50-strike European call option. Both options expire in one year. The prices of the options on this stock are: Strike Price Call option Put option iv) The continuously compounded risk-free interest rate is 5%. v) Assume there are no transaction costs. Calculate the maximum profit for the overall position at expiration

30 44. You are given the following information about two options, A and B: i) Option A is a one-year European put with exercise price 45. ii) Option B is a one-year American call with exercise price 55. iii) Both options are based on the same underlying asset, a stock that pays no dividends. iv) Both options go into effect at the same time and expire at t = 1. You are also given the following information about the stock price: i) The initial stock price is 50. ii) The stock price at expiration is also 50. iii) The minimum stock price (from t = 0 to t = 1) is 46. iv) The maximum stock price (from t = 0 to t = 1) is 58. Determine which of the following statements is true. Both options A and B are at-the-money at expiration. Both options A and B are in-the-money at expiration. Both options A and B are out-of-the-money throughout each option s term. Only option A is ever in-the-money at some time during its term. Only option B is ever in-the-money at some time during its term. 30

31 45. An investor enters a long position in a futures contract on an index (F) with a notional value of 200 F, expiring in one year. The index pays an annual continuously compounded dividend yield of 4%, and the annual continuously compounded risk-free interest rate is 2%. At the time of purchase, the index price is Three months later, the investor has sustained a loss of 100. Assume the margin account earns an interest rate of 0%. Let S be the price of the index at the end of month three. Calculate S Determine which of the following statements about options is true. Naked writing is the practice of buying options without taking an offsetting position in the underlying asset. A covered call involves taking a long position in an asset together with a written call on the same asset. An American style option can only be exercised during specified periods, but not for the entire life of the option. A Bermudan style option allows the buyer the right to exercise at any time during the life of the option. An in-the-money option is one which would have a positive profit if exercised immediately. 31

32 47. An investor has written a covered call. Determine which of the following represents the investor's position. Short the call and short the stock Short the call and long the stock Short the call and no position on the stock Long the call and short the stock Long the call and long the stock 48. For a certain stock, Investor A purchases a 45-strike call option while Investor B purchases a 135-strike put option. Both options are European with the same expiration date. Assume that there are no transaction costs. If the final stock price at expiration is S, Investor A's payoff will be 12. Calculate Investor B's payoff at expiration, if the final stock price is S

33 49. The market price of Stock A is 50. A customer buys a 50-strike put contract on Stock A for 500. The put contract is for 100 shares of A. Calculate the customer s maximum possible loss An investor bought a 70-strike European put option on an index with six months to expiration. The premium for this option was 1. The investor also wrote an 80-strike European put option on the same index with six months to expiration. The premium for this option was 8. The six-month interest rate is 0%. Calculate the index price at expiration that will allow the investor to break even

34 51. You are given the following information about Stock XYZ: i) The current price of the stock is 35 per share. ii) The expected continuously compounded annual rate of return is 8%. iii) The stock pays semi-annual dividends of 0.32 per share, with the next dividend to be paid two months from now. The continuously compounded annual risk-free interest rate is 4%. Calculate the current one-year forward price for stock XYZ The ask price for a share of ABC company is and the bid price is 100. Suppose an investor can borrow at an annual effective rate of 3.05% and lend (i.e., save) at an annual effective rate of 3%. Assume there are no transaction costs and no dividends. Determine which of the following strategies does not create an arbitrage opportunity. Short sell one share, and enter into a long one-year forward contract on one share with a forward price of Short sell one share, and enter into a long one-year forward contract on one share with a forward price of Short sell one share, and enter into a long one-year forward contract on one share with a forward price of Purchase one share with borrowed money, and enter into a short one-year forward contract on one share with a forward price of Purchase one share with borrowed money, and enter into a short one-year forward contract on one share with a forward price of

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