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Efficient Portfolio Optimization in the Wealth Creation and Maximum Drawdown Space


  • Alejandro Reveiz


  • Carlos Eduardo León



First developed by Markowitz (1952), the mean-variance framework is the most widespread theoretical approximation to the portfolio problem. Nevertheless, successful application in the investment community has been limited. Assumptions such as normality of returns and a static correlation matrix could partially account for this. To overcome some of the limitations of the mean-variance framework, mainly the choice of the risk metric and the inconvenience of using an estimated correlation matrix typical of tranquil or euphoria periods, this paper proposes an alternative risk measure: the maximum drawdown (MDD), and combines it with a wealth creation measure to define a new portfolio optimization space. Like other market practitioners´ measures, MDD lacks of a complete and solid theoretical foundation. In an effort to contribute to its theoretical foundation, this paper uses common sense and financial intuition to introduce such measure, followed by a review of its technical advantages and coherence for risk management. Finally, an application of a MDD risk metric based portfolio optimization model is presented. The main findings indicate this proposal may effectively help overcome some of the traditional mean-variance shortcomings and provide some useful tools for portfolio optimization in practice. For long-term performance driven portfolios, such as pension funds, this approach may yield interesting results because it focuses on wealth creation over the long run.

Suggested Citation

  • Alejandro Reveiz & Carlos Eduardo León, 2008. "Efficient Portfolio Optimization in the Wealth Creation and Maximum Drawdown Space," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 004732, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000094:004732

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alejandro Revéiz Herault & Sebastian Rojas, 2008. "The case for active management from the perspective of Complexity Theory," Borradores de Economia 495, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    2. Alejandro Reveiz & Carlos León & Juan Mario Laserna & Ivonne Martínez, 2008. "Recomendaciones para la modificación del régimen de pensiones obligatorias de Colombia," Revista ESPE - Ensayos sobre Política Económica, Banco de la Republica de Colombia, vol. 26(56), pages 78-113, June.
    3. Philippe Artzner & Freddy Delbaen & Jean‐Marc Eber & David Heath, 1999. "Coherent Measures of Risk," Mathematical Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(3), pages 203-228, July.
    4. Alejandro Reveiz & Carlos León & Juan Mario Laserna & Ivonne Martínez, 2008. "Recomendaciones para la modificación del régimen de pensiones obligatorias de Colombia," Revista ESPE - Ensayos sobre Política Económica, Banco de la Republica de Colombia, vol. 26(56), pages 78-113, June.
    5. Alejandro Reveiz & Carlos León, 2008. "Administración de fondos de pensiones y multifondos en Colombia," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 004598, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
    6. Enrico De Giorgi, "undated". "A Note on Portfolio Selection under Various Risk Measures," IEW - Working Papers 122, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gregorio Impavido & Esperanza Lasagabaster & Manuel Garcia-Huitron, 2010. "New Policies for Mandatory Defined Contribution Pensions : Industrial Organization Models and Investment Products," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2462, September.
    2. Alejandro Reveiz‐Herault, 2016. "An Active Asset Management Investment Process for Drawdown‐Averse Investors," Intelligent Systems in Accounting, Finance and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(1-2), pages 85-96, January.
    3. Arjan Berkelaar & Roy Kouwenberg, 2010. "A liability-relative drawdown approach to pension asset liability management," Journal of Asset Management, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 11(2), pages 194-217, June.
    4. García-Huitrón, Manuel & Impavido, Gregorio & Lasagabaster, Esperanza, 2018. "New Policies for Mandatory Defined Contribution Pensions: Industrial Organization Models and Investment Products," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 365, March.

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    More about this item


    Portfolio Optimization; Asset Allocation; Downside Risk; Maximum Drawdown; mean-variance Criteria; Diversification.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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