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The Economic Value of Predicting Stock Index Returns and Volatility

Author

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

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Marquering, W.A. & Verbeek, M.J.C.M., 2001. "The Economic Value of Predicting Stock Index Returns and Volatility," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2001-75-F&A, 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ems:eureri:133
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    Keywords

    investments; market timing; performance evaluation; predictability of stock returns and volatility;

    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage
    • G3 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance
    • M - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics

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