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Markowitz versus Regime Switching: An Empirical Approach

  • Immanuel Seidl

This article discusses an adjusted regime switching model in the context of portfolio optimization and compares the attained portfolio weights and the performance to a classical mean-variance set-up as introduced by Markowitz (1952). The model postulates different asset price dynamics under different regimes, and jumps between regimes are driven by a Markov process. For examples, 'bear' and 'bull' markets could be such regimes. Given a particular regime, portfolio weights are set based on the conditional means and variancecovariance structure of the asset dynamics. The model is evaluated in an out-of-sample period of the last three years with a moving window and a forecast of only one period. It is found that with the adjusted regime switching portfolio selection algorithm as applied here, the performance of the optimal portfolio is highly improved even where portfolio weights are constrained to realistic values.

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Article provided by Academia de Studii Economice din Bucuresti, Romania / Facultatea de Finante, Asigurari, Banci si Burse de Valori / Catedra de Finante in its journal The Review of Finance and Banking.

Volume (Year): 04 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (June)
Pages: 033-043

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Handle: RePEc:rfb:journl:v:04:y:2012:i:1:p:033-043
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  1. Frauendorfer, Karl & Jacoby, Ulrich & Schwendener, Alvin, 2007. "Regime switching based portfolio selection for pension funds," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(8), pages 2265-2280, August.
  2. Pelletier, Denis, 2006. "Regime switching for dynamic correlations," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 131(1-2), pages 445-473.
  3. Ang, Andrew & Bekaert, Geert, 2002. "Regime Switches in Interest Rates," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(2), pages 163-82, April.
  4. Campbell, Rachel & Koedijk, Kees & Kofman, Paul, 2002. "Increased Correlation in Bear markets: A Downside Risk Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 3172, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Hamilton, James D, 1989. "A New Approach to the Economic Analysis of Nonstationary Time Series and the Business Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 357-84, March.
  6. Harry Markowitz, 1952. "Portfolio Selection," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 7(1), pages 77-91, 03.
  7. Goldfeld, Stephen M. & Quandt, Richard E., 1973. "A Markov model for switching regressions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 3-15, March.
  8. Benoit Mandelbrot, 1963. "The Variation of Certain Speculative Prices," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36, pages 394.
  9. Levy, Haim, 1969. "A Utility Function Depending on the First Three Moments: Comment," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 24(4), pages 715-19, September.
  10. Andrew Ang & Geert Bekaert, 2002. "International Asset Allocation With Regime Shifts," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(4), pages 1137-1187.
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