IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Strategic Asset Allocation in Money Management


  • Suleyman Basak

    () (London Business School and CEPR)

  • Dmitry Makarov

    () (New Economic School)


This article analyzes the dynamic portfolio choice implications of strategic interaction among money managers. The strategic interaction emerges as the managers compete for money flows displaying empirically documented convexities. A manager gets money flows increasing with performance, and hence displays relative performance concerns, if her relative return is above a threshold; otherwise she receives no (or constant) flows and has no relative concerns. We provide a tractable formulation of such strategic interaction between two risk averse managers in a continuous-time setting, and solve for their equilibrium policies in closed-form. When the managers’ risk aversions are considerably different, we do not obtain a Nash equilibrium as the managers cannot agree on who loses (getting no flows) in some states. We obtain equilibria, but multiple, when the managers are similar since they now care only about the total number of losing states. We recover a unique equilibrium, however, when a sufficiently high threshold makes the competition for money flows less intense. The managers’ unique equilibrium policies are driven by chasing and contrarian behaviors when either manager substantially outperforms the opponent, and by gambling behavior when their performances are close to the threshold. Depending on the stock correlation, the direction of gambling for a given manager may differ across stocks, however the two managers always gamble strategically in the opposite direction from each other in each individual stock.

Suggested Citation

  • Suleyman Basak & Dmitry Makarov, 2009. "Strategic Asset Allocation in Money Management," Working Papers w0158, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  • Handle: RePEc:cfr:cefirw:w0158

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jérôme B. Detemple & René Garcia & Marcel Rindisbacher, 2003. "A Monte Carlo Method for Optimal Portfolios," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(1), pages 401-446, February.
    2. Anand M. Goel & Anjan V. Thakor, 2005. "Green with Envy: Implications for Corporate Investment Distortions," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(6), pages 2255-2288, November.
    3. JULES H. van BINSBERGEN & MICHAEL W. BRANDT & RALPH S. J. KOIJEN, 2008. "Optimal Decentralized Investment Management," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(4), pages 1849-1895, August.
    4. Jaksa Cvitanic & Levon Goukasian & Fernando Zapatero, 2000. "Monte Carlo Valuation of Optimal Portfolios in Complete Markets," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1246, Econometric Society.
    5. Suleyman Basak & Anna Pavlova & Alexander Shapiro, 2007. "Optimal Asset Allocation and Risk Shifting in Money Management," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 20(5), pages 1583-1621, 2007 21.
    6. Jennifer Carpenter, 1999. "Does Option Compensation Increase Managerial Risk Appetite?," New York University, Leonard N. Stern School Finance Department Working Paper Seires 99-076, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business-.
    7. Alexander Kempf & Stefan Ruenzi, 2008. "Tournaments in Mutual-Fund Families," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(2), pages 1013-1036, April.
    8. Loranth Gyongyi & Sciubba Emanuela, 2006. "Relative Performance, Risk and Entry in the Mutual Fund Industry," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-28, September.
    9. Michael R. Baye & Guoqiang Tian & Jianxin Zhou, 1993. "Characterizations of the Existence of Equilibria in Games with Discontinuous and Non-quasiconcave Payoffs," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(4), pages 935-948.
    10. Guercio, Diane Del & Tkac, Paula A., 2008. "Star Power: The Effect of Monrningstar Ratings on Mutual Fund Flow," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(04), pages 907-936, December.
    11. Goriaev, A.P. & Palomino, F.A. & Prat, A., 2000. "Mutual Fund Tournament : Risk Taking Incentives Induced by Ranking Objectives," Discussion Paper 2000-94, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    12. Palomino, Frederic, 2005. "Relative performance objectives in financial markets," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 351-375, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Axel Stahmer, 2015. "Fund flows inducing mispricing of risk in competitive financial markets," ESMT Research Working Papers ESMT-15-04, ESMT European School of Management and Technology.
    2. Basak, Suleyman & Makarov, Dmitry, 2012. "Difference in interim performance and risk taking with short-sale constraints," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(2), pages 377-392.
    3. Ron Kaniel & Péter Kondor, 2013. "The Delegated Lucas Tree," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 26(4), pages 929-984.
    4. Fang, Dawei & Holmén, Martin & Kleinlercher, Daniel & Kirchler, Michael, 2017. "How tournament incentives affect asset markets: A comparison between winner-take-all tournaments and elimination contests," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 1-27.
    5. Castañeda, Pablo & Devoto, Benjamín, 2016. "On the structural estimation of an optimal portfolio rule," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 16(C), pages 290-300.
    6. Mourad Mroua & Fathi Abid, 2014. "Portfolio revision and optimal diversification strategy choices," International Journal of Managerial Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 10(4), pages 537-564, August.
    7. repec:eee:ejores:v:264:y:2018:i:3:p:1144-1158 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Huang, Shiyang & Qiu, Zhigang & Shang, Qi & Tang, Ke, 2013. "Asset pricing with heterogeneous beliefs and relative performance," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 4107-4119.
    9. Liu, Xiangbo & Qiu, Zhigang & Xiong, Yan, 2013. "VaR constrained asset pricing with relative performance," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(2), pages 174-178.
    10. Han Feng & David Hobson, 2013. "Gambling in contests with regret," Papers 1301.0719,
    11. Chia-Ying Chan & Christine W. Lai & Liang-Chung Lee, 2017. "Strategic Choice of Risk: Evidence from Mutual Fund Families," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 51(1), pages 125-163, February.
    12. Guan, Guohui & Liang, Zongxia, 2016. "A stochastic Nash equilibrium portfolio game between two DC pension funds," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 237-244.
    13. Castaneda, Pablo & Rudolph, Heinz P., 2011. "Upgrading investment regulations in second pillar pension systems : a proposal for Colombia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5775, The World Bank.

    More about this item


    Money Managers; Strategic Interaction; Portfolio Choice; Relative Performance; Incentives; Risk Shifting; Fund Flows; Tournaments;

    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis


    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:cfr:cefirw:w0158. 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: (Julia Babich). 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.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with 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.