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Volatility Exposure for Strategic Asset Allocation

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  • Marie Briere
  • Alexandre Burgues
  • Ombretta Signori

Abstract

This paper examines the advantages of incorporating strategic exposure to equity volatility into the investment-opportunity set of a long-term equity investor. We consider two standard volatility investments: implied volatility and volatility risk premium strategies. To calibrate and assess the risk/return profile of the portfolio, we present an analytical framework offering pragmatic solutions for long-term investors seeking exposure to volatility. The benefit of volatility exposure for a conventional portfolio is shown through a mean / modified Value-at-Risk portfolio optimization. Pure volatility investment makes it possible to partially hedge downside equity risk, thus reducing the risk profile of the portfolio. Investing in the volatility risk premium substantially increases returns for a given level of risk. A well calibrated combination of the two strategies enhances the absolute and risk-adjusted returns of the portfolio.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series Working Papers CEB with number 08-034.RS.

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Length: 34 p.
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published by:
Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:08-034

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Keywords: variance swap; volatility risk premium; higher moments; portfolio choice; Value at Risk;

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  1. Eric Jondeau & Michael Rockinger, 2006. "The Economic Value of Distributional Timing," Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper Series 06-35, Swiss Finance Institute.
  2. Nicolas P. B. Bollen & Robert E. Whaley, 2004. "Does Net Buying Pressure Affect the Shape of Implied Volatility Functions?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(2), pages 711-753, 04.
  3. Reinhold Hafner & Martin Wallmeier, 2007. "Volatility as an Asset Class: European Evidence," The European Journal of Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(7), pages 621-644.
  4. Chunhachinda, Pornchai & Dandapani, Krishnan & Hamid, Shahid & Prakash, Arun J., 1997. "Portfolio selection and skewness: Evidence from international stock markets," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 143-167, February.
  5. Vikas Agarwal, 2004. "Risks and Portfolio Decisions Involving Hedge Funds," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 17(1), pages 63-98.
  6. Gurdip Bakshi & Nikunj Kapadia, 2003. "Delta-Hedged Gains and the Negative Market Volatility Risk Premium," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 16(2), pages 527-566.
  7. Jondeau, E. & Rockinger, M., 2004. "Optimal Portfolio Allocation Under Higher Moments," Working papers 108, Banque de France.
  8. Massimo Guidolin & Allan Timmerman, 2005. "Optimal portfolio choice under regime switching, skew and kurtosis preferences," Working Papers 2005-006, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  9. Campbell Harvey & John Liechty & Merrill Liechty & Peter Muller, 2010. "Portfolio selection with higher moments," Quantitative Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(5), pages 469-485.
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