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Predicting Excess Stock Returns Out of Sample: Can Anything Beat the Historical Average?

  • Campbell, John
  • Thompson, Samuel P.

Goyal and Welch (2007) argue that the historical average excess stock return forecasts future excess stock returns better than regressions of excess returns on predictor variables. In this article, we show that many predictive regressions beat the historical average return, once weak restrictions are imposed on the signs of coefficients and return forecasts. The out-of-sample explanatory power is small, but nonetheless is economically meaningful for mean-variance investors. Even better results can be obtained by imposing the restrictions of steady-state valuation models, thereby removing the need to estimate the average from a short sample of volatile stock returns.

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Paper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 2622619.

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Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in The Review of Financial Studies
Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:2622619
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  1. Jessica A. Wachter & Missaka Warusawitharana, 2006. "Predictable returns and asset allocation: Should a skeptical investor time the market?," 2006 Meeting Papers 22, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Andrew Ang & Geert Bekaert, 2001. "Stock Return Predictability: Is it There?," NBER Working Papers 8207, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Campbell, John Y. & Viceira, Luis M., 2002. "Strategic Asset Allocation: Portfolio Choice for Long-Term Investors," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296942.
  4. Atsushi Inoue & Lutz Kilian, 2005. "In-Sample or Out-of-Sample Tests of Predictability: Which One Should We Use?," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(4), pages 371-402.
  5. Foster, F Douglas & Smith, Tom & Whaley, Robert E, 1997. " Assessing Goodness-of-Fit of Asset Pricing Models: The Distribution of the Maximal R-Squared," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 591-607, June.
  6. John Y. Campbell & Motohiro Yogo, 2002. "Efficient Tests of Stock Return Predictability," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1972, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  7. John Y. Campbell & Robert J. Shiller, 2001. "Valuation Ratios and the Long-run Stock Market Outlook: An Update," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1295, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  8. Cavanagh, Christopher L. & Elliott, Graham & Stock, James H., 1995. "Inference in Models with Nearly Integrated Regressors," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(05), pages 1131-1147, October.
  9. Michael Jansson & Marcelo J. Moreira, 2006. "Optimal Inference in Regression Models with Nearly Integrated Regressors," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(3), pages 681-714, 05.
  10. Jessica Wachter, 2010. "Asset Allocation," NBER Working Papers 16255, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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