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Sensitivity Analysis for Mean-Variance Portfolio Problems

Author

Listed:
  • Michael J. Best

    (Department of Combinatorics and Optimization, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, N2L 3G1 Canada)

  • Robert R. Grauer

    (Department of Economics, Faculty of Business Administration, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, V5A 1S6 Canada)

Abstract

This paper shows how to perform sensitivity analysis for Mean-Variance (MV) portfolio problems using a general form of parametric quadratic programming. The analysis allows an investor to examine how parametric changes in either the means or the right-hand side of the constraints affect the composition, mean, and variance of the optimal portfolio. The optimal portfolio and associated multipliers are piecewise linear functions of the changes in either the means or the right-hand side of the constraints. The parametric parts of the solution show the rates of substitution of securities in the optimal portfolio, while the parametric parts of the multipliers show the rates at which constraints are either tightening or loosening. Furthermore, the parametric parts of the solution and multipliers change in different intervals when constraints become active or inactive. The optimal MV paths for sensitivity analyses are piecewise parabolic, as in traditional MV analysis. However, the optimal paths may contain negatively sloping segments and are characterized by types of kinks, i.e., points of nondifferentiability, not found in MV analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael J. Best & Robert R. Grauer, 1991. "Sensitivity Analysis for Mean-Variance Portfolio Problems," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 37(8), pages 980-989, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:37:y:1991:i:8:p:980-989
    DOI: 10.1287/mnsc.37.8.980
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