By dissecting the specific index, we gain an understanding of market risk along the maturity spectrum. We seek to be opportunistic along the yield curve. Our broad view of the economy includes 3 phases, namely, early expansion, late expansion and a terminal phase. Anecdotally, these phases typically endure some type of Fed activity and ensuing curve action. Part of Piedmont’s duration decision entails evaluating and setting a series of curve scenarios. These scenarios include, but are not limited to: a bear flattening (short rates increasing faster than long rates), a parallel shift upward in rates (in 50 basis point increments) and an unchanged scenario. Against our macro backdrop, we determine rich/cheap buckets along the curve and we seek curve exposure that reflects our bias. These optimal portfolios are then stress-tested versus the benchmark over a one-year horizon. Relative performance is examined in each scenario, and the ultimate goal is to outperform the benchmark over a variety of scenarios.