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The Economic Value of Predicting Stock Index Returns and Volatility

  • Marquering, W.A.
  • Verbeek, M.J.C.M.

In this paper, we analyze the economic value of predicting stock index returns as well as volatility. On the basis of simple linear models, estimated recursively, we produce genuine out-of-sample forecasts for the return on the S&P 500 index and its volatility. Using monthly data from 1954 to 2001, we test the statistical significance of return and volatility predictability and examine the economic value of a number of alternative trading strategies. While we find strong evidence for market timing in both returns and volatility, the success of market timing and volatility timing varies considerably over the sample period. Further, it appears easier to forecast returns at times when volatility is high. For a mean-variance investor, this predictability is economically profitable, even if short sales are not allowed and transaction costs are quite large. The economic value of trading strategies that employ market timing in returns and volatility exceeds that of strategies that only employ timing in returns.

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Paper provided by Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam in its series ERIM Report Series Research in Management with number ERS-2001-75-F&A.

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Date of creation: 10 Dec 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ems:eureri:133
Contact details of provider: Postal: RSM Erasmus University & Erasmus School of Economics, PoBox 1738, 3000 DR Rotterdam
Phone: 31-10-408 1182
Fax: 31-10-408 9020
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