Configuration files

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The configuration file

A configuration file must be supplied when FIA is run from the command line.

Configuration files are short text files that contain the names of the data files to be used in the attribution calculation, the type of attribution to be performed, and any other information required for the analysis, such as the reports to be generated. A configuration file allows the user to set large numbers of parameters without having to retype them each time the program is run. Portfolios that are regularly analysed may be assigned their own configuration file, and this file can then be reused as often as required.

Configuration files may be given any name, but must have the suffix cnf. Configuration files may be written or edited using a text editor, such as Notepad (in Windows) or gedit (in Linux).

A detailed list of the possible options specified in the configuration file is shown in the next table. The only fields that must have values assigned are PortfolioFile and SecurityFile; all others have sensible default values applied.

A configuration file must always start with [FIA].
Options may be set in any order.
Options are case-sensitive.

If an option setting does not correspond to a defined field, FIA flags an error and stops.

The value of an option can only be set once in a config file, apart from one exception:

ReportSectors

ReportSectors can be set more than once. For each value supplied, a separate interactive report is generated.

For more information on ReportSectors, click here.

Sample configuration file

A sample configuration file looks as follows:

# sample.cnf
[FIA]
PortfolioFile = statfund1.csv
SecurityFile = sec_defs.csv
CarryDecomposition = pull_to_par
SovereignCurveDecomposition = STB
RollDownAttribution = n
DateFormat = %d/%m/%Y

This file specifies that

  • the portfolio data file to be analyzed is called statfund1.csv;
  • the security master file to be used is called sec_defs.csv;
  • the benchmark associated with the portfolio is unspecified. In this case, no benchmark will appear in the final results;
  • return due to carry return is to be decomposed into running yield and pull-to-par effects;
  • changes in the sovereign yield curve for all markets are to be broken down into parallel shift, twist, and curvature components;
  • roll-down effects are not to be calculated, but will instead be added to the residual return;
  • dates will be read in the dd/mm/yyyy format.

The user has left a comment on the first line that the name of the file is sample.cnf. Any line that is prefixed by a # symbol is treated as a comment, and is ignored by FIA.

Setting up a configuration file

There are two ways to set up a configuration file for FIA.

  • The first is to construct it manually using a text editor. For users who want to follow this route, full documentation is provided below.
  • The second is to construct it using our freely downloadable graphical user interface (see Using the configuration GUI), which allows you to set up configuration files using drop-down menus and similar controls.

Setting configuration values

No quotation marks are needed for any options. Spaces to either side of the ‘=’ sign are ignored.

String-valued options

For string options, use the pattern

FIELD=VALUE

VALUE can be upper or lower case.

Boolean options

For Boolean options, use the pattern

FIELD=VALUE

where VALUE can take the values True, False, Yes, No, 1, 0.

Integer and real options

For integer and real-valued options, use the pattern

FIELD=VALUE

where VALUE is an integer or a double, as required.