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How Best to Flip-Flop If You Must: Integer Dynamic Stochastic Programming for Either-Or


  • Samuelson, Paul A


Standard portfolio analysis presumes one can blend different securities continuously. When one must choose all of one portfolio or all of another, we are in stochastic digital programming: either-or, zero-or-one choice. The algorithm for doing this optimally is shown to be simpler than in real variable maximizing, a switch from the usual extra complexities of digital programming. The Bellman multi-period dynamic programming is shown, paradoxically, to make it possible for a risk-averse investor to want sometimes to embrace an unfair gamble. The superiority of within-time diversification over across-time diversification carries over to this flip-flop case. Copyright 1997 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Samuelson, Paul A, 1997. "How Best to Flip-Flop If You Must: Integer Dynamic Stochastic Programming for Either-Or," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 183-190, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jrisku:v:15:y:1997:i:3:p:183-90

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