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Parametric Portfolio Policies: Exploiting Characteristics in the Cross Section of Equity Returns

  • Brandt, Michael W
  • Santa-Clara, Pedro
  • Valkanov, Rossen
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    We propose a novel approach to optimizing portfolios with large numbers of assets. We model directly the portfolio weight in each asset as a function of the asset’s characteristics. The coefficients of this function are found by optimizing the investor’s average utility of the portfolio’s return over the sample period. Our approach is computationally simple, easily modified and extended, produces sensible portfolio weights, and offers robust performance in and out of sample. In contrast, the traditional approach of first modeling the joint distribution of returns and then solving for the corresponding optimal portfolio weights is not only diffcult to implement for a large number of assets but also yields notoriously noisy and unstable results. Our approach also provides a new test of the portfolio choice implications of equilibrium asset pricing models. We present an empirical implementation for the universe of all stocks in the CRSP-Compustat dataset, exploiting the size, value, and momentum anomalies.

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    Paper provided by Anderson Graduate School of Management, UCLA in its series University of California at Los Angeles, Anderson Graduate School of Management with number qt4ft420b6.

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    Date of creation: 08 Mar 2005
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    Handle: RePEc:cdl:anderf:qt4ft420b6
    Contact details of provider: Postal: 110 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA. 90095
    Web page: http://www.escholarship.org/repec/anderson_fin/

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    2. Kent Daniel & Sheridan Titman, 1996. "Evidence on the Characteristics of Cross Sectional Variation in Stock Returns," NBER Working Papers 5604, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    4. Hodrick, Robert J, 1992. "Dividend Yields and Expected Stock Returns: Alternative Procedures for Inference and Measurement," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 5(3), pages 357-86.
    5. Yacine Aït-Sahalia, 2001. "Variable Selection for Portfolio Choice," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(4), pages 1297-1351, 08.
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    7. Keim, Donald B. & Stambaugh, Robert F., 1986. "Predicting returns in the stock and bond markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 357-390, December.
    8. Shlomo Benartzi & Richard H. Thaler, 1993. "Myopic Loss Aversion and the Equity Premium Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 4369, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Brandt, Michael W. & Santa-Clara, Pedro, 2004. "Dynamic Portfolio Selection by Augmenting the Asset Space," University of California at Los Angeles, Anderson Graduate School of Management qt632436gt, Anderson Graduate School of Management, UCLA.
    10. Chan, Louis K. C. & Karceski, Jason & Lakonishok, Josef, 1998. "The Risk and Return from Factors," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 33(02), pages 159-188, June.
    11. John Y. Campbell & Tuomo Vuolteenaho, 2002. "Bad Beta, Good Beta," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1971, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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    14. Olivier Ledoit & Michael Wolf, 2003. "Honey, I Shrunk the Sample Covariance Matrix," Working Papers 92, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    15. Jagannathan, Ravi & Wang, Zhenyu, 1996. " The Conditional CAPM and the Cross-Section of Expected Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(1), pages 3-53, March.
    16. Harry Markowitz, 1952. "Portfolio Selection," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 7(1), pages 77-91, 03.
    17. 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.
    18. Alexander, Gordon J. & Baptista, Alexandre M., 2002. "Economic implications of using a mean-VaR model for portfolio selection: A comparison with mean-variance analysis," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(7-8), pages 1159-1193, July.
    19. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-54, July.
    20. Grossman, Sanford J & Vila, Jean-Luc, 1989. "Portfolio Insurance in Complete Markets: A Note," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62(4), pages 473-76, October.
    21. John Heaton & Deborah Lucas, 2000. "Portfolio Choice and Asset Prices: The Importance of Entrepreneurial Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(3), pages 1163-1198, 06.
    22. Michael W. Brandt & Pedro Santa-Clara, 2004. "Dynamic Portfolio Selection by Augmenting the Asset Space," NBER Working Papers 10372, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. Merton, Robert C, 1973. "An Intertemporal Capital Asset Pricing Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(5), pages 867-87, September.
    24. Jorion, Philippe, 1986. "Bayes-Stein Estimation for Portfolio Analysis," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 21(03), pages 279-292, September.
    25. Tepla, Lucie, 2001. "Optimal investment with minimum performance constraints," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 25(10), pages 1629-1645, October.
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