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Improved Estimates of Higher-Order Comoments and Implications for Portfolio Selection

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  • Lionel Martellini
  • Volker Ziemann

Abstract

In the presence of nonnormally distributed asset returns, optimal portfolio selection techniques require estimates for variance-covariance parameters, along with estimates for higher-order moments and comoments of the return distribution. This is a formidable challenge that severely exacerbates the dimensionality problem already present with mean-variance analysis. This article extends the existing literature, which has mostly focused on the covariance matrix, by introducing improved estimators for the coskewness and cokurtosis parameters. We find that the use of these enhanced estimates generates a significant improvement in investors' welfare. We also find that it is only when improved estimators are used that portfolio selection with higher-order moments dominates mean-variance analysis from an out-of-sample perspective. The Author 2009. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Society for Financial Studies. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Lionel Martellini & Volker Ziemann, 2010. "Improved Estimates of Higher-Order Comoments and Implications for Portfolio Selection," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(4), pages 1467-1502, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:23:y:2010:i:4:p:1467-1502
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/rfs/hhp099
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    1. repec:spr:annopr:v:260:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10479-016-2394-y is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Georges Dionne & Jingyuan Li & Cedric Okou, 2012. "An Extension of the Consumption-based CAPM Model," Cahiers de recherche 1214, CIRPEE.
    3. Fotis Papailias & Dimitrios Thomakos, 2015. "Covariance averaging for improved estimation and portfolio allocation," Financial Markets and Portfolio Management, Springer;Swiss Society for Financial Market Research, vol. 29(1), pages 31-59, February.
    4. Brinkmann, Felix & Kempf, Alexander & Korn, Olaf, 2014. "Forward-looking measures of higher-order dependencies with an application to portfolio selection," CFR Working Papers 13-08 [rev.], University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
    5. Asmerilda Hitaj & Lorenzo Mercuri, 2013. "Portfolio allocation using multivariate variance gamma models," Financial Markets and Portfolio Management, Springer;Swiss Society for Financial Market Research, vol. 27(1), pages 65-99, March.
    6. Kempf, Alexander & Korn, Olaf & Saßning, Sven, 2011. "Portfolio optimization using forward-looking information," CFR Working Papers 11-10, University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
    7. Kempf, Alexander & Korn, Olaf & Saßning, Sven, 2014. "Portfolio optimization using forward-looking information," CFR Working Papers 11-10 [rev.], University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
    8. Hitaj, Asmerilda & Zambruno, Giovanni, 2016. "Are Smart Beta strategies suitable for hedge fund portfolios?," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 37-51.
    9. Renée Fry-McKibbin & Cody Yu-Ling Hsiao, 2015. "Extremal dependence tests for contagion," CAMA Working Papers 2015-40, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    10. Jakub W. Jurek & Erik Stafford, 2011. "The Cost of Capital for Alternative Investments," Harvard Business School Working Papers 12-013, Harvard Business School.
    11. Dias, Alexandra, 2016. "The economic value of controlling for large losses in portfolio selection," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 72(S), pages 81-91.
    12. Dilip B. Madan, 2016. "Conic Portfolio Theory," International Journal of Theoretical and Applied Finance (IJTAF), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 19(03), pages 1-42, May.
    13. Alexios Ghalanos & Eduardo Rossi & Giovanni Urga, 2015. "Independent Factor Autoregressive Conditional Density Model," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(5), pages 594-616, May.
    14. Brinkmann, Felix & Kempf, Alexander & Korn, Olaf, 2013. "Forward-looking measures of higher-order dependencies with an application to portfolio selection," CFR Working Papers 13-08, University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
    15. Boudt, Kris & Lu, Wanbo & Peeters, Benedict, 2015. "Higher order comoments of multifactor models and asset allocation," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 13(C), pages 225-233.
    16. Hitaj, Asmerilda & Mercuri, Lorenzo & Rroji, Edit, 2015. "Portfolio selection with independent component analysis," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 15(C), pages 146-159.
    17. repec:eee:ecofin:v:42:y:2017:i:c:p:314-337 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Ardia, David & Boudt, Kris & Wauters, Marjan, 2016. "The economic benefits of market timing the style allocation of characteristic-based portfolios," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 38-62.
    19. Dahlquist, Magnus & Farago, Adam & Tédongap, Roméo, 2015. "Asymmetries and Portfolio Choice," CEPR Discussion Papers 10706, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    20. Lorenzo Mercuri & Edit Rroji, 2014. "Parametric Risk Parity," Papers 1409.7933, arXiv.org.

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