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Sector Classification through non-Gaussian Similarity

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  • Maximilian Vermorken
  • Ariane Szafarz
  • Hugues Pirotte

Abstract

Standard sector classification frameworks present drawbacks that might hinder portfolio managers. This article introduces a new nonparametric approach to equity classification. Returns are decomposed into their fundamental drivers through Independent Component Analysis (ICA). Stocks are then classified according to the relative importance of the identified fundamental drivers for their returns. A method is developed permitting the quantification of these dependencies, using a similarity index. Hierarchical clustering allows for grouping the stocks into new classes. The resulting classes are compared with those from the two-digit Global Industry Classification System (GICS) for US blue chip companies. It is shown that specific relations between stocks are not captured by the GICS framework. The method is tested for robustness and successfully applied to portfolio management.

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Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series ULB Institutional Repository with number 2013/95542.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Publication status: Published in: Applied financial economics (2010) v.20 n° 11,p.861-878
Handle: RePEc:ulb:ulbeco:2013/95542

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  1. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1997. "Industry costs of equity," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 153-193, February.
  2. Peiro, Amado, 1999. "Skewness in financial returns," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 847-862, June.
  3. Koedijk, Kees & Kole, Erik & Verbeek, Marno, 2006. "Selecting Copulas for Risk Management," CEPR Discussion Papers 5652, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Marie Briere & Ariane Szafarz, 2008. "Crisis-Robust Bond Portfolios," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/14150, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  5. Michel Beine & Pierre-Yves Preumont & Ariane Szafarz, 2006. "Sector diversification during crises: a European perspective," DULBEA Working Papers 06-07.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  6. Brown, Stephen J. & Goetzmann, William N., 1997. "Mutual fund styles," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 373-399, March.
  7. Roll, Richard, 1992. " Industrial Structure and the Comparative Behavior of International Stock Market Indices," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(1), pages 3-41, March.
  8. Thierry Vessereau, 2000. "Factor Analysis and Independent Component Analysis in Presence of High Idiosyncratic Risks," CIRANO Working Papers 2000s-46, CIRANO.
  9. Elton, Edwin J. & Gruber, Martin J., 1970. "Homogeneous Groups and the Testing of Economic Hypotheses," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(05), pages 581-602, January.
  10. Farrell, James L, Jr, 1974. "Analyzing Covariation of Returns to Determine Homogeneous Stock Groupings," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47(2), pages 186-207, April.
  11. Andrew J. Patton, 2004. "On the Out-of-Sample Importance of Skewness and Asymmetric Dependence for Asset Allocation," Journal of Financial Econometrics, Society for Financial Econometrics, vol. 2(1), pages 130-168.
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