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Least Squares Predictions and Mean-Variance Analysis


  • Sentana, Enrique


We compare the Sharpe ratios of investment funds which combine one riskless and one risky asset following: i) timing strategies which forecast excess returns using simple regressions; ii) a strategy which uses multiple regression instead; and iii) a passive allocation which combines the funds in i) with constant weightings. We show that iii) dominates i) and ii), as it implicitly uses the linear forecasting rule that maximises the Sharpe ratio of actively traded portfolios, but the relative ranking of i) and ii) is generally unclear. We also discuss under what circumstances the performance of ii) and iii) coincides.

Suggested Citation

  • Sentana, Enrique, 1999. "Least Squares Predictions and Mean-Variance Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 2088, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2088

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Grossman, Sanford J & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1980. "On the Impossibility of Informationally Efficient Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 393-408, June.
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    5. Chen, Zhiwu & Knez, Peter J, 1996. "Portfolio Performance Measurement: Theory and Applications," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 9(2), pages 511-555.
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    Cited by:

    1. Davide Pettenuzzo & Francesco Ravazzolo, 2016. "Optimal Portfolio Choice Under Decision‐Based Model Combinations," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(7), pages 1312-1332, November.
    2. Patton, Andrew J. & Timmermann, Allan, 2007. "Properties of optimal forecasts under asymmetric loss and nonlinearity," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 140(2), pages 884-918, October.
    3. Enrique Sentana, 2009. "The econometrics of mean-variance efficiency tests: a survey," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 12(3), pages C65-C101, November.
    4. Penaranda, Francisco, 2007. "Portfolio choice beyond the traditional approach," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24481, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    5. Peñaranda, Francisco & Sentana, Enrique, 2012. "Spanning tests in return and stochastic discount factor mean–variance frontiers: A unifying approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 170(2), pages 303-324.
    6. Patton, Andrew J & Timmermann, Allan G, 2003. "Properties of Optimal Forecasts," CEPR Discussion Papers 4037, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. René Garcia & Éric Renault & Georges Tsafack, 2007. "Proper Conditioning for Coherent VaR in Portfolio Management," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(3), pages 483-494, March.

    More about this item


    Forecasting; Market timing strategies; Portfolio Allocation; Sharpe Ratios;

    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions


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