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Portfolio Diversification with Commodity Futures: Properties of Levered Futures


  • Egelkraut, Thorsten M.
  • Woodard, Joshua D.
  • Garcia, Philip
  • Pennings, Joost M.E.


This study extends previous work on the impact of commodity futures on portfolio performance by explicitly incorporating levered futures into the portfolio optimization problem. Using data on nine individual commodity futures and one aggregate index from 1994-2003, we find that collateralized and levered futures strategies perform similarly in an ex-post context. Significant differences between the approaches emerge however when constraints on investment behavior exist. Further, levered futures do not result in a prohibitive number of margin calls. The investment performances of the collateralized and the levered strategies vary little across different rebalancing intervals, and frequent portfolio rebalancing does not necessarily result in superior performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Egelkraut, Thorsten M. & Woodard, Joshua D. & Garcia, Philip & Pennings, Joost M.E., 2005. "Portfolio Diversification with Commodity Futures: Properties of Levered Futures," 2005 Conference, April 18-19, 2005, St. Louis, Missouri 19047, NCR-134 Conference on Applied Commodity Price Analysis, Forecasting, and Market Risk Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:ncrfiv:19047
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.19047

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jorion, Philippe, 1986. "Bayes-Stein Estimation for Portfolio Analysis," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 21(3), pages 279-292, September.
    2. Claude B. Erb & Campbell R. Harvey, 2005. "The Tactical and Strategic Value of Commodity Futures," NBER Working Papers 11222, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. T. Randall Fortenbery & Robert J. Hauser, 1990. "Investment Potential of Agricultural Futures Contracts," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 72(3), pages 721-726.
    4. Frost, Peter A. & Savarino, James E., 1986. "An Empirical Bayes Approach to Efficient Portfolio Selection," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 21(3), pages 293-305, September.
    5. Kalman J. Cohen & Jerry A. Pogue, 1967. "An Empirical Evaluation of Alternative Portfolio-Selection Models," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40, pages 166-166.
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