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WATKINS Clinton Associate Professor
Please make an appointment in advance by email.
Active investment managers need to forecast future securities returns and risk in order to make good investment decisions. Since the global financial crisis, it has been difficult to forecast the financial markets. My interest is in developing models that help to explain and forecast securities returns and risk. My research interests fall within the broad areas of empirical finance, financial markets, macroeconomics, applied econometrics and investment. At the moment, I am looking at currency risk management for international portfolio (bond and stock) investors. During my professional career in the investment management industry, my research focussed on developing quantitative global macro investment strategies. In particular, I worked on currency, fixed income, equity, asset allocation and multi asset strategies. Prior to the investment management industry, I worked at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. My work at the Bank involved analysis of currency and fixed income markets, extracting economic information from financial market prices, foreign reserve investment strategies and financial stability analyses. I also have a long-standing interest in modelling commodity returns, particularly those for industrial metals.
Lectures and Seminars
Some of the graduate courses listed below are also available for advanced undergraduates.
When I was a student, I became much more interested in economics after I learned how to use econometrics. Econometrics provides us with the set of techniques to test how well economic theories actually describe the the economy. We can then use econometric models to make forecasts of various economic data. In this course, we cover econometric techniques, and apply these techniques to economic and financial data using econometric software. We also cover econometric methodology, that is, the sensible use of econometric techniques such that we make valid conclusions from our empirical analysis. The class is held in the computer laboratory so that students can work with econometric software during class. The course aims to help students along the path toward conducting their own empirical research in economics or finance.
This course covers theory of the financial system and how financial securities are priced or valued. Financial securities markets and asset pricing models are our focus. We look at how various types of securities markets operate, both in Japan and internationally. By examining recent developments reported in the financial press, students learn to relate financial theory to current developments in global financial markets.
In this course, we study both the theory and practice of investment management. Why is investment management important? One reason is that with economic development since the 1950s in many countries, incomes have risen, people are living longer and they have invested some of their income to support their future retirement. The role of the professional investment manager in this context is to properly manage the investment of these funds to ensure people have the best possible future retirement income. After taking this course, students will have a clear understanding of how financial assets are combined into portfolios, portfolio management strategies, the investment management industry and the issues involved in real world portfolio management.
Economic and Financial Crises
Economic and financial crises are, unfortunately, a fact of global business and personal life. During your career, you will likely need to deal with the fallout of several international or national financial crises. Understanding i) the warning signs to look out for ahead of a crisis, ii) how the economy may change during a crisis, iii) international linkages that may help spread a crisis from country to country, and iv) the policies government may use to counter a crisis, can help you navigate the crisis. We study financial crises using the approach of Hyman Minsky, with the aim of developing our awareness and ability to cope with economic and financial crises.
Traditionally in finance, theories presume that investors behave rationally and make correct financial decisions based on the information available. Behavioural finance uses principles from psychology to describe how investors may systematically make irrational financial decisions. Researchers such as Daniel Kahneman, winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics, pioneered the application of concepts from psychology to economic and financial decision-making. With behavioural concepts, we can explain some observed financial anomalies that are difficult to explain using conventional finance theory. This course trains students in behavioural concepts with application to finance, financial decision-making and financial markets.
Financial Markets Workshop
Analysing financial markets in real-time is challenging. It requires the combination of economic and financial theory, quantitative analysis of data, qualitative analysis of various types of news, and the awareness many other factors such as politics, laws and regulation, as well as how various industries and firms operate. This class introduces students to financial market analysis in a workshop setting. Students learn to develop their views on financial markets, explain and defend their views, consider and debate counterarguments, and create professional research reports.
Economics and finance can be very stimulating areas for research and your career. If economics and finance interest you, please do pursue study in these fields at university.
Education and Positions
- Doctor of Philosophy, University of Western Australia
Master of Economics, University of Western Australia
Bachelor of Economics, University of Western Australia
- Akita International University, Associate Professor
BlackRock Japan, Director, Global Market and Multi-Asset Class Strategies
Barclays Global Investors Japan, Associate, Global Active Strategies
Reserve Bank of New Zealand, Adviser, Market Analysis and Research
1．Watkins, Clinton, Using financial market information in monetary policy: some examples from New Zealand, in Financial market developments and their implications for monetary policy, Bank for International Settlements Paper No 39,147-166, April 2008.
2. Watkins, Clinton and Michael McAleer, How has volatility in metals markets changed? Mathematics and Computers in Simulation, Volume 78(2-3), 237-249, 2008.
3. Watkins, Clinton and Michael McAleer, The Pricing of Non-ferrous Metals Futures on the London Metal Exchange, Applied Financial Economics, Volume 16(12), 853-880, 2006.
4. Watkins, Clinton and Michael McAleer, Econometric modelling of non-ferrous metal prices, Journal of Economic Surveys, Volume 18(4), 651-701, 2004. 5