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Finance Dictionary and Glossary of Investment Terms
Preferred habitat theory
A biased expectations theory that believes the term structure reflects the expectation of the future path of interest rates as well as risk premium. The theory rejects the assertion that the risk premium must rise uniformly with maturity, but instead profits that to the extent that the demand for and supply of funds do not match for a given maturity range, some participants will shift to maturities showing the opposite imbalances, as long as they are compensated by an appropriate risk premium whose magnitude will reflect the extent of aversion to either price or reinvestment risk.