Break Point Detection for Strategic Asset Allocation
Sammanfattning: This paper focuses on how to improve strategic asset allocation in practice. Strategic asset allocation is perhaps the most fundamental issue in portfolio management and it has been thoroughly discussed in previous research. We take our starting point in the traditional work of Markowitz within portfolio optimization. We provide a new solution of how to perform portfolio optimization in practice, or more specifically how to estimate the covariance matrix, which is needed to perform conventional portfolio optimization. Many researchers within this field have noted that the return distribution of financial assets seems to vary over time, so called regime switching, which makes it dicult to estimate the covariance matrix. We solve this problem by using a Bayesian approach for developing a Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithm that detects break points in the return distribution of financial assets, thus enabling us to improve the estimation of the covariance matrix. We find that there are two break points during the time period studied and that the main difference between the periods are that the volatility was substantially higher for all assets during the period that corresponds to the financial crisis, whereas correlations were less affected. By evaluating the performance of the algorithm we find that the algorithm can increase the Sharpe ratio of a portfolio, thus that our algorithm can improve strategic asset allocation over time.
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