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The growth of relative wealth and the Kelly criterion

Author

Listed:
  • Andrew W. Lo

    (Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

  • H. Allen Orr

    (University of Rochester)

  • Ruixun Zhang

    (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Abstract

We propose an evolutionary framework for optimal portfolio growth theory in which investors subject to environmental pressures allocate their wealth between two assets. By considering both absolute wealth and relative wealth between investors, we show that different investor behaviors survive in different environments. When investors maximize their relative wealth, the Kelly criterion is optimal only under certain conditions, which are identified. The initial relative wealth plays a critical role in determining the deviation of optimal behavior from the Kelly criterion regardless of whether the investor is myopic across a single time period or maximizing wealth over an infinite horizon. We relate these results to population genetics, and discuss testable consequences of these findings using experimental evolution.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew W. Lo & H. Allen Orr & Ruixun Zhang, 2018. "The growth of relative wealth and the Kelly criterion," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 20(1), pages 49-67, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jbioec:v:20:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10818-017-9253-z
    DOI: 10.1007/s10818-017-9253-z
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    Cited by:

    1. Thomas J. Brennan & Andrew W. Lo & Ruixun Zhang, 2018. "Variety Is the Spice of Life: Irrational Behavior as Adaptation to Stochastic Environments," Quarterly Journal of Finance (QJF), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 8(03), pages 1-39, September.
    2. Rabah Amir & Sergei Belkov & Igor V. Evstigneev & Thorsten Hens, 2022. "An evolutionary finance model with short selling and endogenous asset supply," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 73(2), pages 655-677, April.
    3. Chung-Han Hsieh, 2021. "On Asymptotic Log-Optimal Buy-and-Hold Strategy," Papers 2103.04898, arXiv.org.
    4. Evstigneev, Igor & Hens, Thorsten & Potapova, Valeriya & Schenk-Hoppé, Klaus R., 2020. "Behavioral equilibrium and evolutionary dynamics in asset markets," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 121-135.
    5. Sergei Belkov & Igor V. Evstigneev & Thorsten Hens, 2020. "An evolutionary finance model with a risk-free asset," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 593-607, December.
    6. Chung-Han Hsieh, 2022. "On Solving Robust Log-Optimal Portfolio: A Supporting Hyperplane Approximation Approach," Papers 2202.03858, arXiv.org.
    7. Mu-En Wu & Jia-Hao Syu & Chien-Ming Chen, 2022. "Kelly-Based Options Trading Strategies on Settlement Date via Supervised Learning Algorithms," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 59(4), pages 1627-1644, April.
    8. I. V. Evstigneev & T. Hens & M. J. Vanaei, 2023. "Evolutionary finance: a model with endogenous asset payoffs," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 117-143, August.
    9. Chung-Han Hsieh, 2020. "Necessary and Sufficient Conditions for Frequency-Based Kelly Optimal Portfolio," Papers 2004.12099, arXiv.org.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Kelly criterion; Portfolio optimization; Adaptive Markets Hypothesis; Evolutionary game theory;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory

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