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Predictability and diversification benefits of investing in commodity and currency futures

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  • Cotter, John
  • Eyiah-Donkor, Emmanuel
  • Potì, Valerio

Abstract

We re-examine diversification benefits of investing in commodities and currencies by considering a risk-averse investor with mean-variance preferences who exploits the possibility of predictable time variation in asset return means, variances, and covariances. We implement unconditional and conditional efficient portfolio strategies designed to exploit this predictability, together with more traditional and/or ad hoc ones yet hitherto relatively unexplored in this context (including the equally weighted, fixed weight, volatility timing, and reward-to-risk timing strategies). We find that, for all portfolio strategies, commodities and currencies do not improve the investment opportunity set of the investor with an existing portfolio of stocks, bonds and T-bills, and an investment horizon of one month. Our findings, which reverse the conclusions of previous studies that focus on static portfolio strategies, are robust across several performance metrics.

Suggested Citation

  • Cotter, John & Eyiah-Donkor, Emmanuel & Potì, Valerio, 2017. "Predictability and diversification benefits of investing in commodity and currency futures," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 52-66.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:finana:v:50:y:2017:i:c:p:52-66
    DOI: 10.1016/j.irfa.2016.12.009
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    Keywords

    Commodity and currency futures; Spanning tests; Predictability; Portfolio strategies; Out-of-sample performance;

    JEL classification:

    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G17 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Financial Forecasting and Simulation

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