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There exist a lot of way to choose risk factors and the choice differs according to the kind of underlying assets. In your case, particularly, since the portfolio is composed by currencies, I would choose the risk factors mainly among all the macroeconomic variables available in your dataset or data provider. After that, to choose on which of them basing ...


Yes, those are probably the variables that predict the better the stock market return. However, the OOS evidence is usually weak. Goyal & Welch provide a good summary on predictors: http://rfs.oxfordjournals.org/content/21/4/1455.abstract


Market beta just tells your portfolio has low covariance, scaled by variance, with the market. Remember that $$ \beta= \frac{Cov(x,y)}{Var(x)} = \rho\frac{\sigma_x \sigma_y}{\sigma_x^2}=\rho\frac{\sigma_y}{\sigma_x} $$ You can see that it well may be that $\sigma_x<\sigma_y$ but $\rho$ is small enough to have a beta of 0.5. By the way, you can directly ...

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