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Sparse Weighted-Norm Minimum Variance Portfolios


  • Yu-Min Yen


We propose to impose a weighted l1 and squared l2 norm penalty on the portfolio weights to improve out-of-sample (OOS) performances of portfolio optimization when the number of assets becomes large. We show that under certain conditions, the realized risk of the optimal minimum variance portfolio (MVP) obtained from the strategy can asymptotically be lower than those of benchmark portfolios with a high probability. Our theoretical results imply that penalty parameters for the weighted-norm penalty can be specified as a simple function of the number of assets and sample size. With the theoretical results, we also develop an automatic calibration procedure for choosing the penalty parameters. We demonstrate superior OOS performances of the weighted-norm MVP with two real data sets. Finally, we propose several alternative norm penalties and show that their OOS performances are comparable to the weighted-norm strategy.

Suggested Citation

  • Yu-Min Yen, 2016. "Sparse Weighted-Norm Minimum Variance Portfolios," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 20(3), pages 1259-1287.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:revfin:v:20:y:2016:i:3:p:1259-1287.

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fan, Jianqing & Liao, Yuan & Shi, Xiaofeng, 2015. "Risks of large portfolios," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 186(2), pages 367-387.
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