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Active portfolio management with benchmarking: A frontier based on alpha

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  • Alexander, Gordon J.
  • Baptista, Alexandre M.

Abstract

Active portfolio management often involves the objective of selecting a portfolio with minimum tracking error variance (TEV) for some expected gain in return over a benchmark. However, Roll (1992) shows that such portfolios are generally suboptimal because they do not belong to the mean-variance frontier and are thus overly risky. Our paper proposes an appealing method to lessen this suboptimality that involves the objective of selecting a portfolio from the set of portfolios that have minimum TEV for various levels of ex-ante alpha, which we refer to as the alpha-TEV frontier. Since practitioners commonly use ex-post alpha to assess the performance of managers, the use of this frontier aligns the objectives of managers with how their performance is evaluated. Furthermore, sensible choices of ex-ante alpha lead to the selection of portfolios that are less risky (in variance terms) than the portfolios that active managers would otherwise select.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander, Gordon J. & Baptista, Alexandre M., 2010. "Active portfolio management with benchmarking: A frontier based on alpha," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(9), pages 2185-2197, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:34:y:2010:i:9:p:2185-2197
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Giulio PALOMBA & Luca RICCETTI, 2013. "Asset Management with TEV and VaR;Constraints: the Constrained Efficient;Frontiers," Working Papers 392, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
    2. Kerstens, Kristiaan & Mounir, Amine & de Woestyne, Ignace Van, 2011. "Non-parametric frontier estimates of mutual fund performance using C- and L-moments: Some specification tests," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 1190-1201, May.
    3. Palomba, Giulio & Riccetti, Luca, 2012. "Portfolio frontiers with restrictions to tracking error volatility and value at risk," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(9), pages 2604-2615.
    4. de Paulo, Wanderlei Lima & de Oliveira, Estela Mara & do Valle Costa, Oswaldo Luiz, 2016. "Enhanced index tracking optimal portfolio selection," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 16(C), pages 93-102.
    5. Chiarawongse, Anant & Kiatsupaibul, Seksan & Tirapat, Sunti & Roy, Benjamin Van, 2012. "Portfolio selection with qualitative input," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 489-496.
    6. Alexander, Gordon J. & Baptista, Alexandre M., 2011. "Portfolio selection with mental accounts and delegation," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(10), pages 2637-2656, October.
    7. Schuhmacher, Frank & Eling, Martin, 2012. "A decision-theoretic foundation for reward-to-risk performance measures," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 2077-2082.
    8. Susan Black & Lamorna Rogers & Albina Soultanaeva, 2012. "Households' Appetite for Financial Risk," RBA Bulletin, Reserve Bank of Australia, pages 37-42, June.
    9. Schuhmacher, Frank & Eling, Martin, 2011. "Sufficient conditions for expected utility to imply drawdown-based performance rankings," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(9), pages 2311-2318, September.
    10. Taylor, Dominic & Coleman, Les, 2011. "Price determinants of Aboriginal art, and its role as an alternative asset class," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 1519-1529, June.
    11. Stucchi, Patrizia, 2015. "A unified approach to portfolio selection in a tracking error framework with additional constraints on risk," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 165-174.

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