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Optimal investment decisions when time-horizon is uncertain

  • Blanchet-Scalliet, Christophette
  • El Karoui, Nicole
  • Jeanblanc, Monique
  • Martellini, Lionel

Many investors do not know with certainty when their portfolio will be liquidated. Should their portfolio selection be influenced by the uncertainty of exit time? In order to answer this question, we consider a suitable extension of the familiar optimal investment problem of Merton [Merton, R.C., 1971. Optimal consumption and portfolio rules in a continuous-time model. Journal of Economic Theory 3, 373-413], where we allow the conditional distribution function of an agent's time-horizon to be stochastic and correlated to returns on risky securities. In contrast to existing literature, which has focused on an independent time-horizon, we show that the portfolio decision is affected.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Mathematical Economics.

Volume (Year): 44 (2008)
Issue (Month): 11 (December)
Pages: 1100-1113

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Handle: RePEc:eee:mateco:v:44:y:2008:i:11:p:1100-1113
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  1. Cox, John C. & Huang, Chi-fu, 1989. "Optimal consumption and portfolio policies when asset prices follow a diffusion process," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 33-83, October.
  2. Harry Markowitz, 1952. "Portfolio Selection," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 7(1), pages 77-91, 03.
  3. Nils H. Hakansson, 1971. "Optimal Entrepreneurial Decisions in a Completely Stochastic Environment," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 17(7), pages 427-449, March.
  4. Merton, Robert C., 1975. "Theory of Finance from the Perspective of Continuous Time," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(04), pages 659-674, November.
  5. Blanchet-Scalliet, Christophette & El Karoui, Nicole & Martellini, Lionel, 2005. "Dynamic asset pricing theory with uncertain time-horizon," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 29(10), pages 1737-1764, October.
  6. Merton, Robert C, 1973. "An Intertemporal Capital Asset Pricing Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(5), pages 867-87, September.
  7. Hakansson, Nils H, 1969. "Optimal Investment and Consumption Strategies under Risk, an Uncertain Lifetime, and Insurance," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 10(3), pages 443-66, October.
  8. Richard, Scott F., 1975. "Optimal consumption, portfolio and life insurance rules for an uncertain lived individual in a continuous time model," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 187-203, June.
  9. Bruno Bouchard & Huyên Pham, 2004. "Wealth-path dependent utility maximization in incomplete markets," Finance and Stochastics, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 579-603, November.
  10. Huang, Ming, 2003. "Liquidity shocks and equilibrium liquidity premia," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 109(1), pages 104-129, March.
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