Sparse and stable Markowitz portfolios
We consider the problem of portfolio selection within the classical Markowitz mean-variance framework, reformulated as a constrained least-squares regression problem. We propose to add to the objective function a penalty proportional to the sum of the absolute values of the portfolio weights. This penalty regularizes (stabilizes) the optimization problem, encourages sparse portfolios (i.e. portfolios with only few active positions), and allows to account for transaction costs. Our approach recovers as special cases the no-short-positions portfolios, but does allow for short positions in limited number. We implement this methodology on two benchmark data sets constructed by Fama and French. Using only a modest amount of training data, we construct portfolios whose out-of-sample performance, as measured by Sharpe ratio, is consistently and significantly better than that of the naive evenly-weighted portfolio which constitutes, as shown in recent literature, a very tough benchmark.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Harry Markowitz, 1952. "Portfolio Selection," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 7(1), pages 77-91, 03.
- Brodie, Joshua & Daubechies, Ingrid & De Mol, Christine & Giannone, Domenico, 2007.
"Sparse and Stable Markowitz Portfolios,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
6474, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Joshua Brodie & Ingrid Daubechies & Christine De Mol & Domenico Giannone & Ignace Loris, 2007. "Sparse and stable Markowitz portfolios," Papers 0708.0046, arXiv.org, revised May 2008.
- Giannone, Domenico & De Mol, Christine & Brodie, Joshua & Daubechies, Ingrid & Loris, Ignace, 2008. "Sparse and stable Markowitz portfolios," Working Paper Series 936, European Central Bank.
- Ravi Jagannathan & Tongshu Ma, 2003. "Risk Reduction in Large Portfolios: Why Imposing the Wrong Constraints Helps," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(4), pages 1651-1684, 08.
- Ravi Jagannathan & Tongshu Ma, 2002. "Risk Reduction in Large Portfolios: Why Imposing the Wrong Constraints Helps," NBER Working Papers 8922, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- De Mol, Christine & Giannone, Domenico & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 2008. "Forecasting using a large number of predictors: Is Bayesian shrinkage a valid alternative to principal components?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 146(2), pages 318-328, October.
- De Mol, Christine & Giannone, Domenico & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 2006. "Forecasting Using a Large Number of Predictors: Is Bayesian Regression a Valid Alternative to Principal Components?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5829, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- De Mol, Christine & Giannone, Domenico & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 2006. "Forecasting using a large number of predictors: is Bayesian regression a valid alternative to principal components?," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2006,32, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
- Giannone, Domenico & Reichlin, Lucrezia & De Mol, Christine, 2006. "Forecasting using a large number of predictors: Is Bayesian regression a valid alternative to principal components?," Working Paper Series 700, European Central Bank.
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