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Asset Allocation and Risk Assessment with Gross Exposure Constraints for Vast Portfolios

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  • Jianqing Fan
  • Jingjin Zhang
  • Ke Yu

Abstract

Markowitz (1952, 1959) laid down the ground-breaking work on the mean-variance analysis. Under his framework, the theoretical optimal allocation vector can be very different from the estimated one for large portfolios due to the intrinsic difficulty of estimating a vast covariance matrix and return vector. This can result in adverse performance in portfolio selected based on empirical data due to the accumulation of estimation errors. We address this problem by introducing the gross-exposure constrained mean-variance portfolio selection. We show that with gross-exposure constraint the theoretical optimal portfolios have similar performance to the empirically selected ones based on estimated covariance matrices and there is no error accumulation effect from estimation of vast covariance matrices. This gives theoretical justification to the empirical results in Jagannathan and Ma (2003). We also show that the no-short-sale portfolio is not diversified enough and can be improved by allowing some short positions. As the constraint on short sales relaxes, the number of selected assets varies from a small number to the total number of stocks, when tracking portfolios or selecting assets. This achieves the optimal sparse portfolio selection, which has close performance to the theoretical optimal one. Among 1000 stocks, for example, we are able to identify all optimal subsets of portfolios of different sizes, their associated allocation vectors, and their estimated risks. The utility of our new approach is illustrated by simulation and empirical studies on the 100 Fama-French industrial portfolios and the 400 stocks randomly selected from Russell 3000.

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Paper provided by arXiv.org in its series Papers with number 0812.2604.

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Date of creation: Dec 2008
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Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:0812.2604

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  1. Neil Shephard & Kevin Sheppard & Robert F. Engle, 2008. "Fitting vast dimensional time-varying covariance models," Economics Series Working Papers 403, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Ravi Jagannathan & Tongshu Ma, 2003. "Risk Reduction in Large Portfolios: Why Imposing the Wrong Constraints Helps," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(4), pages 1651-1684, 08.
  3. Lan Zhang & Per A. Mykland & Yacine Ait-Sahalia, 2003. "A Tale of Two Time Scales: Determining Integrated Volatility with Noisy High Frequency Data," NBER Working Papers 10111, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Torben G. Andersen & Tim Bollerslev & Francis X. Diebold & Paul Labys, 2001. "Modeling and Forecasting Realized Volatility," NBER Working Papers 8160, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Fan, Jianqing & Fan, Yingying & Lv, Jinchi, 2008. "High dimensional covariance matrix estimation using a factor model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 147(1), pages 186-197, November.
  6. Ole E. Barndorff-Nielsen & Neil Shephard, 2000. "Econometric analysis of realised volatility and its use in estimating stochastic volatility models," Economics Papers 2001-W4, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford, revised 05 Jul 2001.
  7. Laurent Laloux & Pierre Cizeau & Jean-Philippe Bouchaud & Marc Potters, 1998. "Noise dressing of financial correlation matrices," Science & Finance (CFM) working paper archive 500051, Science & Finance, Capital Fund Management.
  8. Patton, Andrew J., 2011. "Data-based ranking of realised volatility estimators," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 161(2), pages 284-303, April.
  9. Roon, F.A. de & Nijman, T.E. & Werker, B.J.M., 1998. "Testing for mean-variance spanning with short sales constraints and transaction costs: The case of emerging markets," Discussion Paper 1998-07, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  10. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1993. "Common risk factors in the returns on stocks and bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 3-56, February.
  11. Pesaran, M.H. & Zaffaroni, P., 2008. "Optimal Asset Allocation with Factor Models for Large Portfolios," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0813, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  12. Yacine Ait-Sahalia & Per A. Mykland, 2003. "How Often to Sample a Continuous-Time Process in the Presence of Market Microstructure Noise," NBER Working Papers 9611, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Olivier Ledoit & Michael Wolf, 2001. "Improved estimation of the covariance matrix of stock returns with an application to portofolio selection," Economics Working Papers 586, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  14. Black, Fischer, 1972. "Capital Market Equilibrium with Restricted Borrowing," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(3), pages 444-55, July.
  15. Philippe Artzner & Freddy Delbaen & Jean-Marc Eber & David Heath, 1999. "Coherent Measures of Risk," Mathematical Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(3), pages 203-228.
  16. Klein, Roger W. & Bawa, Vijay S., 1976. "The effect of estimation risk on optimal portfolio choice," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 215-231, June.
  17. Ledoit, Olivier & Wolf, Michael, 2004. "A well-conditioned estimator for large-dimensional covariance matrices," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 365-411, February.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jianqing Fan & Yingying Li & Ke Yu, 2012. "Vast Volatility Matrix Estimation Using High-Frequency Data for Portfolio Selection," Journal of the American Statistical Association, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 107(497), pages 412-428, March.
  2. Fan, Jianqing & Liao, Yuan & Mincheva, Martina, 2011. "Large covariance estimation by thresholding principal orthogonal complements," MPRA Paper 38697, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Yu-Min Yen, 2010. "A Note on Sparse Minimum Variance Portfolios and Coordinate-Wise Descent Algorithms," Papers 1005.5082, arXiv.org, revised Sep 2013.

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