A very broad question but nevertheless a important and difficult one.

Within private markets (Private Equity funds, infrastructure funds and private credit funds) how should one do a risk-based PCA analysis in order to identify the uncorrelated factors? Within Private Credit should you take some liquid index as a reference or can you use quarterly indices with the very low volatility in mind.

Appreciate any feedback

  • $\begingroup$ Can't directly answer your question (not involved in private markets) but there was a recent paper on Alpha Architect that might be relevant: alphaarchitect.com/2021/06/22/…. Might provide some ideas for factors that are observable. HTH. $\endgroup$
    – user42108
    Oct 5, 2021 at 21:43

1 Answer 1


Yes, indeed an important and difficult question! It's really like asking what happens in a forest where nobody is around to see it?

You would have to start with a fundamental analysis of the assets to calculate its key risk factors, and then find one or more liquid indices as a reference. For example, if you have a portfolio private credit instruments, you should calculate their duration, convexity, etc., but also their sectors and implied ratings based on some basic credit metrics. Then you can match it to benchmark bonds with similar credit risk.

Then you should consider that there is an added liquid risk. If you're buying them at +100 bp to liquid assets, just be careful that in a bad market, there could be no bids for the illiquid assets, or it could be +500 or +1000 bp to liquid benchmark assets. (Yes, seriously, that much worse.)

This doesn't mean that they should be marked down as much, but you should have enough liquidity cushion to ride out those markets.


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