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How do Regimes Affect Asset Allocation?

  • Andrew Ang
  • Geert Bekaert

International equity returns are characterized by episodes of high volatility and unusually high correlations coinciding with bear markets. We develop models of asset returns that match these patterns and use them in asset allocation. First, the presence of regimes with different correlations and expected returns is difficult to exploit within a framework focused on global equities. Nevertheless, for all-equity portfolios, a regime-switching strategy dominates static strategies out-of-sample. Second, substantial value is added when an investor chooses between cash, bonds and equity investments. When a persistent bear market hits, the investor switches primarily to cash. There are large market timing benefits because the bear market regimes tend to coincide with periods of relatively high interest rates.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w10080.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10080.

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Date of creation: Nov 2003
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Publication status: published as Ang, Andrew and Geert Bekaert. "How Regimes Affect Asset Allocation," Financial Analsts Journal, 2004, v60(2,Mar/Apr), 86-99.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10080
Note: AP
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  1. Geert Bekaert & Robert J. Hodrick & David A. Marshall, 1997. ""Peso problem" explanations for term structure anomalies," Working Paper Series, Issues in Financial Regulation WP-97-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  2. Andrew Ang & Geert Bekaert, 2002. "International Asset Allocation With Regime Shifts," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(4), pages 1137-1187.
  3. Green, R.C. & Hollifield, B., 1990. "When Will Mean-Variance Efficient Portfolios Be Well Diversified?," GSIA Working Papers 1990-12, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  4. Hamilton, James D, 1989. "A New Approach to the Economic Analysis of Nonstationary Time Series and the Business Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 357-84, March.
  5. Ang, Andrew & Bekaert, Geert, 2002. "Regime Switches in Interest Rates," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(2), pages 163-82, April.
  6. Massimo Guidolin & Allan Timmerman, 2005. "Optimal portfolio choice under regime switching, skew and kurtosis preferences," Working Papers 2005-006, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  7. Ang, Andrew & Bekaert, Geert, 2002. "Short rate nonlinearities and regime switches," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(7-8), pages 1243-1274, July.
  8. Gray, Stephen F., 1996. "Modeling the conditional distribution of interest rates as a regime-switching process," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 27-62, September.
  9. Fama, Eugene F. & Schwert, G. William, 1977. "Asset returns and inflation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 115-146, November.
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