IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Measuring Portfolio Diversification


  • Ulrich Kirchner
  • Caroline Zunckel


In the market place, diversification reduces risk and provides protection against extreme events by ensuring that one is not overly exposed to individual occurrences. We argue that diversification is best measured by characteristics of the combined portfolio of assets and introduce a measure based on the information entropy of the probability distribution for the final portfolio asset value. For Gaussian assets the measure is a logarithmic function of the variance and combining independent Gaussian assets of equal variance adds an amount to the diversification. The advantages of this measure include that it naturally extends to any type of distribution and that it takes all moments into account. Furthermore, it can be used in cases of undefined weights (zero-cost assets) or moments. We present examples which apply this measure to derivative overlays.

Suggested Citation

  • Ulrich Kirchner & Caroline Zunckel, 2011. "Measuring Portfolio Diversification," Papers 1102.4722,
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1102.4722

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Latest version
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1102.4722. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (arXiv administrators). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.