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Markov-switching Asset Allocation: Do Profitable Strategies Exist?

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  • Bulla, Jan
  • Mergner, Sascha
  • Bulla, Ingo
  • Sesboüé, André
  • Chesneau, Christophe

Abstract

This paper proposes a straightforward Markov-switching asset allocation model, which reduces the market exposure to periods of high volatility. The main purpose of the study is to examine the performance of a regime-based asset allocation strategy under realistic assumptions, compared to a buy and hold strategy. An empirical study, utilizing daily return series of major equity indices in the US, Japan, and Germany over the last 40 years, investigates the performance of the model. In an out-of-sample context, the strategy proves profitable after taking transaction costs into account. For the regional markets under consideration, the volatility reduces on average by 41%. Additionally, annualized excess returns attain 18.5 to 201.6 basis points.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 21154.

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Date of creation: 07 Jan 2010
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:21154

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Keywords: Hidden Markov model; Markov-switching model; asset allocation; timing; volatility regimes; daily returns;

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  1. Turner, Christopher M. & Startz, Richard & Nelson, Charles R., 1989. "A Markov model of heteroskedasticity, risk, and learning in the stock market," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 3-22, November.
  2. Andreas Graflund & Birger Nilsson, 2003. "Dynamic Portfolio Selection: the Relevance of Switching Regimes and Investment Horizon," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 9(2), pages 179-200.
  3. Jan Bulla & Andreas Berzel, 2008. "Computational issues in parameter estimation for stationary hidden Markov models," Computational Statistics, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 1-18, January.
  4. Schwert, G William, 1989. " Why Does Stock Market Volatility Change over Time?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(5), pages 1115-53, December.
  5. Tobias Rydén & Timo Teräsvirta & Stefan Åsbrink, 1998. "Stylized facts of daily return series and the hidden Markov model," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(3), pages 217-244.
  6. Hamilton, James D, 1989. "A New Approach to the Economic Analysis of Nonstationary Time Series and the Business Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 357-84, March.
  7. Goldfeld, Stephen M. & Quandt, Richard E., 1973. "A Markov model for switching regressions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 3-15, March.
  8. Carhart, Mark M, 1997. " On Persistence in Mutual Fund Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 57-82, March.
  9. Andrew Ang & Geert Bekaert, 2002. "International Asset Allocation With Regime Shifts," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(4), pages 1137-1187.
  10. Massimo Guidolin & Allan Timmermann, 2005. "Economic Implications of Bull and Bear Regimes in UK Stock and Bond Returns," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(500), pages 111-143, 01.
  11. Martin Hess, 2006. "Timing and diversification: A state-dependent asset allocation approach," The European Journal of Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(3), pages 189-204.
  12. Manuel Ammann & Michael Verhofen, 2006. "The Effect of Market Regimes on Style Allocation," Financial Markets and Portfolio Management, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 309-337, September.
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