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Managing risk exposures using the risk budgeting approach

  • Bruder, Benjamin
  • Roncalli, Thierry

The ongoing economic crisis has profoundly changed the industry of the asset management, by putting risk management at the heart of most investment processes. This new risk-based investment style does not rely on returns forecasts and is therefore assumed to be more robust. In 2011, it has particularly encountered a great success with the achievement of minimum variance, ERC and risk parity strategies in portfolios of several large institutional investors. These portfolio constructions are special cases of a more general class of allocation models, known as the risk budgeting approach. In a risk budgeting portfolio, the risk contribution from each component is equal to the budget of risk defined by the portfolio manager. Unfortunately, even if risk budgeting techniques are widely used by market practitioners, they are few results about the behavior of such portfolios in the academic literature. In this paper, we derive the theoretical properties of the risk budgeting portfolio and show that its volatility is located between those of minimum variance and weight budgeting portfolios. We also discuss the existence, uniqueness and optimality of such a portfolio. In a second part of the paper, we propose several applications of risk budgeting techniques for risk-based allocation, like risk parity funds and strategic asset allocation, and equity and bond alternative indexations.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 37246.

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Date of creation: Jan 2012
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:37246
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  1. Bruder, Benjamin & Hereil, Pierre & Roncalli, Thierry, 2011. "Managing sovereign credit risk in bond portfolios," MPRA Paper 36673, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Isabelle Bajeux-Besnainou & James V. Jordan & Roland Portait, 2003. "Dynamic Asset Allocation for Stocks, Bonds, and Cash," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76(2), pages 263-288, April.
  3. Teiletche, Jérôme & Roncalli, Thierry & Maillard, Sébastien, 2010. "The properties of equally-weighted risk contributions portfolios," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/4688, Paris Dauphine University.
  4. Clark, Gordon L. & Caerlewy-Smith, Emiko & Marshall, John C., 2006. "Pension fund trustee competence: decision making in problems relevant to investment practice," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(01), pages 91-110, March.
  5. Ledoit, Olivier & Wolf, Michael, 2003. "Improved estimation of the covariance matrix of stock returns with an application to portfolio selection," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 10(5), pages 603-621, December.
  6. Ravi Jagannathan & Tongshu Ma, 2002. "Risk Reduction in Large Portfolios: Why Imposing the Wrong Constraints Helps," NBER Working Papers 8922, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Roncalli, Thierry, 2010. "Understanding the Impact of Weights Constraints in Portfolio Theory," MPRA Paper 36753, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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