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Figure 5.5 Relationship between expected return and standard deviation of return for various correlation coefficients.

payoff from diversification. Second, we have seen that combinations of two assets can never have more risk than that found on a straight line connecting the two assets in expected return standard deviation space. Finally, we have produced a simple expression for finding the minimum variance portfolio when two assets are combined in a portfolio. We can use this to gain more insight into the shape of the curve along which all possible combinations of assets must lie in expected return standard deviation space. This curve, which is called the portfolio possibilities curve, is the subject of the next section.

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