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Predicting Excess Stock Returns Out of Sample: Can Anything Beat the Historical Average?

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  • John Y. Campbell
  • Samuel B. Thompson

Abstract

Goyal and Welch (2007) argue that the historical average excess stock return forecasts future excess stock returns better than regressions of excess returns on predictor variables. In this article, we show that many predictive regressions beat the historical average return, once weak restrictions are imposed on the signs of coefficients and return forecasts. The out-of-sample explanatory power is small, but nonetheless is economically meaningful for mean-variance investors. Even better results can be obtained by imposing the restrictions of steady-state valuation models, thereby removing the need to estimate the average from a short sample of volatile stock returns. The Author 2007. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Society for Financial Studies. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Society for Financial Studies in its journal The Review of Financial Studies.

Volume (Year): 21 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (July)
Pages: 1509-1531

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Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:21:y:2008:i:4:p:1509-1531

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  1. John Y. Campbell & Motohiro Yogo, 2002. "Efficient Tests of Stock Return Predictability," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1972, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Jessica A. Wachter & Missaka Warusawitharana, 2007. "Predictable Returns and Asset Allocation: Should a Skeptical Investor Time the Market?," NBER Working Papers 13165, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Michael Jansson & Marcelo J. Moreira, 2006. "Optimal Inference in Regression Models with Nearly Integrated Regressors," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(3), pages 681-714, 05.
  4. Cavanagh, Christopher L. & Elliott, Graham & Stock, James H., 1995. "Inference in Models with Nearly Integrated Regressors," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(05), pages 1131-1147, October.
  5. Jessica A. Wachter, 2010. "Asset Allocation," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 175-206, December.
  6. John Y. Campbell & Robert J. Shiller, 2001. "Valuation Ratios and the Long-Run Stock Market Outlook: An Update," NBER Working Papers 8221, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Foster, F Douglas & Smith, Tom & Whaley, Robert E, 1997. " Assessing Goodness-of-Fit of Asset Pricing Models: The Distribution of the Maximal R-Squared," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 591-607, June.
  8. Campbell, John Y. & Viceira, Luis M., 2002. "Strategic Asset Allocation: Portfolio Choice for Long-Term Investors," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296942, Octomber.
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