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Optimal market timing strategies under transaction costs

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  • Li, Wei
  • Lam, Kin
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    Abstract

    In this paper, we consider optimal market timing strategies under transaction costs. We assume that the asset's return follows an auto-regressive model and use long-term investment growth as the objective of a market timing strategy which entails the shifting of funds between a risky asset and a riskless asset. We give the optimal trading strategy for a finite investment horizon, and analyze its limiting behavior. For a finite horizon, the optimal decision in each step depends on two threshold values. If the return today is between the two values, nothing needs to be done, otherwise funds will be shifted from one asset to another, depending on which threshold value is being exceeded. When investment horizon tends to infinity, the optimal strategy converges to a stationary policy, which is shown to be closely related to a well-known technical trading rule, called Momentum Index trading rule. An integral equation of the two threshold values is given. Numerical results for the limiting stationary strategy are presented. The results confirm the obvious guess that the no-transaction region increases as the transaction cost increase. Finally, the limiting stationary strategy is applied to data in the Hang Seng Index Futures market in Hong Kong. The out-of-sample performance of the limiting stationary strategy is found to be better than the simple strategy used in literature, which is based on an 1-step ahead forecast of return.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Omega.

    Volume (Year): 30 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 2 (April)
    Pages: 97-108

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jomega:v:30:y:2002:i:2:p:97-108

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    Related research

    Keywords: Market timing Autoregressive models Growth-optimal investment strategy Stochastic dynamic programming;

    References

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    1. Admati, Anat R, et al, 1986. " On Timing and Selectivity," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 41(3), pages 715-30, July.
    2. Stephen J. Brown & William N. Goetzmann & Alok Kumar, 1998. "The Dow Theory: William Peter Hamilton's Track Record Re-Considered," New York University, Leonard N. Stern School Finance Department Working Paper Seires 98-013, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business-.
    3. George M. Constantinides, 1979. "Multiperiod Consumption and Investment Behavior with Convex Transactions Costs," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 25(11), pages 1127-1137, November.
    4. Goodhart, C. A. E. & Figliuoli, L., 1991. "Every minute counts in financial markets," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 23-52, March.
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    7. Knez, Peter J & Ready, Mark J, 1996. "Estimating the Profits from Trading Strategies," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 9(4), pages 1121-63.
    8. Gerard Gennotte & Alan Jung, 1994. "Investment Strategies under Transaction Costs: The Finite Horizon Case," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 40(3), pages 385-404, March.
    9. Pesaran, M Hashem & Timmermann, Allan, 1995. " Predictability of Stock Returns: Robustness and Economic Significance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(4), pages 1201-28, September.
    10. Hodrick, Robert J. & Srivastava, Sanjay, 1987. "Foreign currency futures," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1-2), pages 1-24, February.
    11. Magill, Michael J. P. & Constantinides, George M., 1976. "Portfolio selection with transactions costs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 245-263, October.
    12. Mark, Nelson C., 1988. "Time-varying betas and risk premia in the pricing of forward foreign exchange contracts," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 335-354, December.
    13. Leitch, Gordon & Tanner, J Ernest, 1991. "Economic Forecast Evaluation: Profits versus the Conventional Error Measures," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 580-90, June.
    14. Poterba, James M. & Summers, Lawrence H., 1988. "Mean reversion in stock prices : Evidence and Implications," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 27-59, October.
    15. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1988. "Permanent and Temporary Components of Stock Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 246-73, April.
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    Cited by:
    1. K. Lam & Wei Li, 2004. "Is the ‘Perfect’ Timing Strategy Truly Perfect?," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 39-51, January.

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