You have recently graduated with a major in finance and landed a financial planner job with Barney Smith Inc., a large financial services corporation. Your first assignment is to invest $100,000 for a client. Because the funds will be invested in a new business the client plans to start at the end of the year, you have been instructed to plan for a 1-year holding period. Further, your boss has restricted you to the investment alternatives shown in Table 1 on the attached resource, “Topic 5 Assignment Graphic Tables.” (Disregard for now the items at the bottom of the data; you will fill in the blanks later.)
Note that the estimated returns of American Foam (Am. Foam), a bedding company, do not always move in the same direction as the overall economy. For example, when the economy is below average, consumers purchase fewer mattresses than they would if the economy were stronger. However, if the economy is in a flat-out recession, a large number of consumers who were planning to purchase a more expensive inner-spring mattress may purchase a cheaper foam mattress instead. Under these circumstances, we would expect American Foam’s stock price to be higher if there is a recession than if the economy was just below average.
Barney Smith’s economic forecasting staff has developed probability estimates for the state of the economy, and its security analysts have developed a sophisticated computer program that was used to estimate the rate of return on each alternative under several state of the economy scenarios. Alta Industries (Alta Inds) is an electronics firm; Repo Men collects past-due debts; and American Foam, as per above, manufactures mattresses and various other foam products. Barney Smith also maintains an “index fund” which owns a market-weighted fraction of all publicly traded stocks; you can invest in that fund, and thus obtain average stock market results.
Given the situation as described, answer the following questions.
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