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

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  • Campbell, John
  • Thompson, Samuel P.

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.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 2622619.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Publication status: Published in The Review of Financial Studies
Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:2622619

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  1. John Y. Campbell & Robert J. Shiller, 2001. "Valuation Ratios and the Long-run Stock Market Outlook: An Update," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University 1295, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  2. 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.
  3. Michael Jansson & Marcelo J. Moreira, 2004. "Optimal Inference in Regression Models with Nearly Integrated Regressors," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2047, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  4. Jessica A. Wachter & Missaka Warusawitharana, 2006. "Predictable returns and asset allocation: Should a skeptical investor time the market?," 2006 Meeting Papers, Society for Economic Dynamics 22, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Campbell, John Y. & Viceira, Luis M., 2002. "Strategic Asset Allocation: Portfolio Choice for Long-Term Investors," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296942, October.
  6. Inoue, Atsushi & Kilian, Lutz, 2002. "In-Sample or Out-of-Sample Tests of Predictability: Which One Should We Use?," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 3671, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  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, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 591-607, June.
  8. Jessica Wachter, 2010. "Asset Allocation," NBER Working Papers 16255, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Cavanagh, Christopher L. & Elliott, Graham & Stock, James H., 1995. "Inference in Models with Nearly Integrated Regressors," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(05), pages 1131-1147, October.
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