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Maximum Drawdown and the Allocation to Real Estate


  • Foort HAMELINK

    (Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch, Vrije Universiteit and FAME)

  • Martin HOESLI

    (HEC-University of Geneva, FAME, and University of Aberdeen (School of Business))


We investigate the role of real estate in a mixed-asset portfolio when the maximum drawdown (hereafter MaxDD), rather than the standard deviation, is used as the measure of risk. In particular, we analyse whether the discrepancy between the optimal allocation to real estate and the actual allocation by institutional investors is less when a Return/MaxDD framework is used. The empirical analysis is conducted from the perspective of a Swiss investor using international data for the period 1979-2002. We show that most portfolios optimised in Return/MaxDD space, rather than in Return/Standard Deviation space, yield a much lower MaxDD, while only a slightly higher standard deviation (for the same level of return). The reduction in MaxDD is highest for portfolios situated half-way on the efficient frontier, typically close to those held by pension funds. Also, the reported weights for real estate are much more in line with the actual weights to real estate by institutional investors.

Suggested Citation

  • Foort HAMELINK & Martin HOESLI, 2003. "Maximum Drawdown and the Allocation to Real Estate," FAME Research Paper Series rp87, International Center for Financial Asset Management and Engineering.
  • Handle: RePEc:fam:rpseri:rp87

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    Cited by:

    1. Colin Lizieri & Stephen Satchell & Qi Zhang, 2007. "The Underlying Return-Generating Factors for REIT Returns: An Application of Independent Component Analysis," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 35(4), pages 569-598, December.
    2. repec:spr:jqecon:v:17:y:2019:i:1:d:10.1007_s40953-018-0129-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Mijatović, Aleksandar & Pistorius, Martijn R., 2012. "On the drawdown of completely asymmetric Lévy processes," Stochastic Processes and their Applications, Elsevier, vol. 122(11), pages 3812-3836.
    4. Martin Hoesli & Jon Lekander, 2005. "Suggested vs. Actual Institutional Allocattion to Real Estate in Europe: A Matter of Size," FAME Research Paper Series rp149, International Center for Financial Asset Management and Engineering.
    5. Zabarankin, Michael & Pavlikov, Konstantin & Uryasev, Stan, 2014. "Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) with drawdown measure," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 234(2), pages 508-517.
    6. Schuhmacher, Frank & Eling, Martin, 2011. "Sufficient conditions for expected utility to imply drawdown-based performance rankings," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(9), pages 2311-2318, September.
    7. John Knight & Colin Lizieri & Stephen Satchell, 2005. "Diversification When It Hurts? The Joint Distributions of Real Estate and Equity Markets," Real Estate & Planning Working Papers rep-wp2005-16, Henley Business School, Reading University.
    8. repec:eee:quaeco:v:70:y:2018:i:c:p:160-171 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Christian Pierdzioch & Daniel Hartmann, 2013. "Forecasting Eurozone real-estate returns," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(14), pages 1185-1196, July.
    10. David Landriault & Bin Li & Hongzhong Zhang, 2014. "On the Frequency of Drawdowns for Brownian Motion Processes," Papers 1403.1183,
    11. repec:eee:finlet:v:22:y:2017:i:c:p:95-100 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. John Knight & Colin Lizieri & Stephen Satchell, 2005. "Diversification when It Hurts? The Joint Distributions of Real Estate and Equity Markets1," Journal of Property Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(4), pages 309-323, December.
    13. Neil Crosby & Steven Devaney, 2006. "Depreciation and its Impact on the Total Return of UK Commercial Real Estate, 1994-2003," Real Estate & Planning Working Papers rep-wp2006-05, Henley Business School, Reading University.
    14. Tavakoli Baghdadabad, Mohammad Reza, 2014. "Average drawdown risk reduction and risk tolerances," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 264-276.

    More about this item


    Maximum Drawdown; Downside Risk; Portfolio Diversification; Real Estate;

    JEL classification:

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

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