New Program from Wharton Executive Education Shows Business Leaders and Investors How to Invest in and Engage with Fixed-Income Markets and Products

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Open-enrollment program will run April 2–5, 2024, at Wharton’s Philadelphia campus

PHILADELPHIA, February 6, 2024 – Higher interest rates and market volatility are bringing renewed attention to fixed-income investments, with some institutions and investors taking a closer look at the asset class for the first time in decades. Wharton Finance Professor Michael Roberts calls these investments “some of the most important but least understood,” and says investors, asset managers, capital allocators, and corporate executives need to know how to manage the risks and take advantage of the opportunities they can bring.

To meet the need, Roberts co-designed and will lead the new open-enrollment program Fixed Income and Credit Market Investing for the Aresty Institute of Executive Education at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Slated for April 2–5, 2024, at Wharton’s Philadelphia campus, the program upends the common wisdom that bonds are a safe bet, generating interest income with little to no risk. “That idea is misguided, as historical and recent events have shown,” says Roberts.

Over a decade of near-zero interest rates has led to complacency among executives and disinterest in fixed-income assets among investors. In light of this backdrop, the recent rise in interest rates caught many by surprise, as suggested by recent bank failures and large investment losses in retirement funds. “Changes in the interest rate environment have been a real wake-up call for managers, investors, allocators, and others who are now realizing that understanding fixed-income investing and risk management are paramount,” says Roberts.

Program sessions will begin with foundational work in bond mechanics and risk assessment, after which participants will explore a variety of practical applications and new developments in credit markets. The program will cover in detail the Treasury, mortgage, and corporate markets using custom applications to introduce and illustrate concepts. Specific applications include security trading, portfolio construction and management, liability-driven management, capital-structure planning, liquidity management, private credit investing, and interest-rate risk management.

“There has been an explosion of opportunities in the credit space over the last 20 years that are more recently growing beyond their niches,” says Roberts. “We’ve seen dramatic changes and growth in structured products, as well as the rise of private credit. On the investing side, bond ETFs are now making available to retail investors opportunities that were historically only available to institutions and ultra-high-net-worth individuals. On the management side, the perils of poor risk management have been made all too clear with recent bank failures and the rise in the number of financially distressed companies. The key is to understand the risks, recognize them as opportunities, and take advantage. That’s what the new program is about.”

Fixed Income and Credit Market Investing will run its first cohort on Wharton’s Philadelphia campus April 2–5, 2024, and is now accepting applications. Prospective participants can learn more and apply at

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