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Christine De Mol

20 December 2006
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 700
Details
Abstract
This paper considers Bayesian regression with normal and double exponential priors as forecasting methods based on large panels of time series. We show that, empirically, these forecasts are highly correlated with principal component forecasts and that they perform equally well for a wide range of prior choices. Moreover, we study the asymptotic properties of the Bayesian regression under Gaussian prior under the assumption that data are quasi collinear to establish a criterion for setting parameters in a large cross-section.
JEL Code
C11 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General→Bayesian Analysis: General
C13 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General→Estimation: General
C33 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models, Multiple Variables→Panel Data Models, Spatio-temporal Models
C53 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric Modeling→Forecasting and Prediction Methods, Simulation Methods
30 September 2008
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 936
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Abstract
We consider the problem of portfolio selection within the classical Markowitz meanvariance optimizing framework, which has served as the basis for modern portfolio theory for more than 50 years. Efforts to translate this theoretical foundation into a viable portfolio construction algorithm have been plagued by technical difficulties stemming from the instability of the original optimization problem with respect to the available data. Often, instabilities of this type disappear when a regularizing constraint or penalty term is incorporated in the optimization procedure. This approach seems not to have been used in portfolio design until very recently. To provide such a stabilization, we propose to add to the Markowitz objective function a penalty which is proportional to the sum of the absolute values of the portfolio weights. This penalty stabilizes the optimization problem, automatically encourages sparse portfolios, and facilitates an effective treatment of transaction costs. We implement our methodology using as our securities two sets of portfolios constructed by Fama and French: the 48 industry portfolios and 100 portfolios formed on size and book-to-market. Using only a modest amount of training data, we construct portfolios whose out-of-sample performance, as measured by Sharpe ratio, is consistently and significantly better than that of the naïve portfolio comprising equal investments in each available asset. In addition to their excellent performance, these portfolios have only a small number of active positions, a desirable feature for small investors, for whom the fixed overhead portion of the transaction cost is not negligible.
JEL Code
G11 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Portfolio Choice, Investment Decisions
C00 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→General→General