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Can VAR models capture regime shifts in asset returns? a long-horizon strategic asset allocation perspective

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  • Massimo Guidolin
  • Stuart Hyde

Abstract

In the empirical portfolio choice literature it is often invoked that through the choice of predictors that may closely track business cycle conditions and market sentiment, simple Vector Autoregressive (VAR) models could produce optimal strategic portfolio allocations that hedge against the bull and bear dynamics typical of financial markets. However, a distinct literature exists that shows that non-linear econometric frameworks, such as Markov switching, are also natural tools to compute optimal portfolios arising from the existence of good and bad market states. In this paper we examine whether and how simple VARs can produce empirical portfolio rules similar to those obtained under a range of multivariate Markov switching models, by studying the effects of expanding both the order of the VAR and the number/selection of predictor variables included. In a typical stock-bond strategic asset allocation problem on US data, we compute the out-of-sample certainty equivalent returns for a wide range of VARs and compare these measures of performance with those typical of non-linear models that account for bull-bear dynamics and characterize the differences in the implied hedging demands for a long-horizon investor with constant relative risk aversion preferences. We conclude that most (if not all) VARs cannot produce portfolio rules, hedging demands, or out-of-sample performances that approximate those obtained from equally simple non-linear frameworks.

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  • Massimo Guidolin & Stuart Hyde, 2010. "Can VAR models capture regime shifts in asset returns? a long-horizon strategic asset allocation perspective," Working Papers 2010-002, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2010-002
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    2. Dewandaru, Ginanjar & Masih, Rumi & Bacha, Obiyathulla Ismath & Masih, A. Mansur. M., 2015. "Combining momentum, value, and quality for the Islamic equity portfolio: Multi-style rotation strategies using augmented Black Litterman factor model," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 205-232.
    3. repec:sbe:breart:v:38:y:2018:i:1:a:56135 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Apostolos Thomadakis, 2012. "Contagion or Flight-to-Quality Phenomena in Stock and Bond Returns," School of Economics Discussion Papers 0612, School of Economics, University of Surrey.
    5. Carolina Fugazza & Massimo Guidolin & Giovanna Nicodano, 2010. "1/N and Long Run Optimal Portfolios: Results for Mixed Asset Menus," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 190, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
    6. Giulia Dal Pra & Massimo Guidolin & Manuela Pedio & Fabiola Vasile, 2016. "Do Regimes in Excess Stock Return Predictability Create Economic Value? An Out-of-Sample Portfolio Analysis," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 1637, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    7. repec:eee:empfin:v:46:y:2018:i:c:p:130-145 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Massimo Guidolin & Alexei G. Orlov, 2018. "Can Investors Benefit from Hedge Fund Strategies? Utility-Based, Out-of-Sample Evidence," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 1887, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    9. repec:eee:ejores:v:262:y:2017:i:3:p:1164-1180 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Guidolin, Massimo & Hyde, Stuart, 2012. "Simple VARs cannot approximate Markov switching asset allocation decisions: An out-of-sample assessment," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 56(11), pages 3546-3566.
    11. Nyberg, Henri, 2013. "Predicting bear and bull stock markets with dynamic binary time series models," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 3351-3363.
    12. Vladimir Zdorovenin & Jacques Pézier, 2011. "Does Information Content of Option Prices Add Value for Asset Allocation?," ICMA Centre Discussion Papers in Finance icma-dp2011-03, Henley Business School, Reading University.
    13. Massimo Guidolin & Stuart Hyde, 2012. "Optimal Portfolios for Occupational Funds under Time-Varying Correlations in Bull and Bear Markets? Assessing the Ex-Post Economic Value," Working Papers 455, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Econometric models ; Vector autoregression ; Asset pricing ; Rate of return;

    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods

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