Articles by Pat

garch and the Algorithmic Trading Conference

December 10, 2012 | Pat

The Imperial College Algorithmic Trading Conference was Saturday. Talks Massoud Mussavian Massoud gave a great talk on “Algo Evolution”.  It started with a historical review of how trading used to be done “by hand”.  It culminated in a phylogenetic tree of trading algorithms.  There was an herbivore branch and a ...
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Again with variability of long-short decile tests

December 6, 2012 | Pat

A simpler approach to producing the variability. Previously The post “Variability in long-short decile strategy tests” proposed a way of assessing the variability of strategy tests in which a long-short portfolio is created by equally weighting the top and bottom deciles. Improved idea Joe Mezrich suggests maintaining equal weights but ... [Read more...]

Variability in long-short decile strategy tests

December 3, 2012 | Pat

How to capture return variability when testing strategies with long-short deciles. Traditional practice Question: Does variable X have predictive power for our universe of assets? A common scheme of quants to answer the question is to form a series of portfolios over time.  The portfolio at each time point: is ... [Read more...]

Discovering the quality of portfolio decisions

November 26, 2012 | Pat

Performance analysis of an example portfolio. The portfolio We explore a particular portfolio during 2007.  It invests in S&P 500 stocks and starts the year with a value of $10 million.  Initially there are 50 names in the portfolio.  It also ends the year with 50 names but has up to 53 names during the … ... [Read more...]

The estimation of Value at Risk and Expected Shortfall

November 19, 2012 | Pat

An introduction to estimating Value at Risk and Expected Shortfall, and some hints for doing it with R. Previously “The basics of Value at Risk and Expected Shortfall” provides an introduction to the subject. Starting ingredients Value at Risk (VaR) and Expected Shortfall (ES) are always about a portfolio. There ...
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The guts of a statistical factor model

November 12, 2012 | Pat

Specifics of statistical factor models and of a particular implementation of them. Previously Posts that are background for this one include: Three things factor models do Factor models of variance in finance The BurStFin R package The quality of variance matrix estimation The problem Someone asked me some questions about ... [Read more...]

An easy mistake with returns

November 5, 2012 | Pat

When aggregating over both time and assets, the order of aggregation matters. Task We have the weights for a portfolio and we want to use those and a matrix of returns over time to compute the (long-term) portfolio return. “A tale of two returns” tells us that aggregation over time ...
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Volatility from daily or monthly: garch evidence

October 29, 2012 | Pat

Should you use daily or monthly returns to estimate volatility? Does garch explain why volatility estimated with daily data tends to be bigger than if it is estimated with monthly data? Previously There are a number of previous posts — with the variance compression tag — that discuss the phenomenon of volatility ... [Read more...]

The basics of Value at Risk and Expected Shortfall

October 23, 2012 | Pat

Value at Risk and Expected Shortfall are common risk measures.  Here is a quick explanation. Ingredients The first two ingredients are each a number: The time horizon — how many days do we look ahead? The probability level — how far in the tail are we looking? Ingredient number 3 is a prediction ... [Read more...]

Review of “R For Dummies”

October 15, 2012 | Pat

The authors are Andrie de Vries and Joris Meys. Executive summary Pretty much all I’d hoped for — and I had high hopes. Significance The “Dummies” series is popular for introducing specific topics in an inviting way. R For Dummies is a worthy addition to the pack. There is a ... [Read more...]

Annotations for “R For Dummies”

October 15, 2012 | Pat

Here are detailed comments on the book.  Elsewhere there is a review of the book. How to read R For Dummies In order to learn R you need to do something with it.  After you have read a little of the book, find something to do.  Mix reading and doing ...
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S&P 500 sector strengths

October 10, 2012 | Pat

Which sectors are coherent, and which aren’t? Previously The post “S&P 500 correlations up to date” looked at rolling mean correlations among stocks.  In particular it looked at rolling mean correlations of stocks within sectors. Of importance to this post is that the sectors used are taken from Wikipedia. ... [Read more...]

S&P 500 correlations up to date

October 8, 2012 | Pat

I haven’t heard much about correlation lately.  I was curious about what it’s been doing. Data The dataset is daily log returns on 464 large cap US stocks from the start of 2006 to 2012 October 5. The sector data were taken from Wikipedia. The correlation calculated here is the mean correlation ... [Read more...]

How to add a benchmark to a variance matrix

October 1, 2012 | Pat

There is a good way and a bad way to add a benchmark to a variance matrix that will be used for optimization and similar operations.  Our examination sheds a little light on the process of variance matrix estimation in this realm. Role of benchmarks Investing Benchmarks are common in ...
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Two particular courses and other upcoming events

September 25, 2012 | Pat

Featured I’ll be leading two courses in the near future: Value-at-Risk versus Expected Shortfall 2012 October 30-31, London. 30th: “Addressing the critical challenges and issues raised by the Basel proposal to replace VaR with Expected Shortfall” 31st: “Variability in Value-at-Risk and Expected Shortfall” led by Patrick Burns Details at CFP ...
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Variance targeting in garch estimation

September 24, 2012 | Pat

What is variance targeting in garch estimation?  And what is its effect? Previously Related posts are: A practical introduction to garch modeling Variability of garch estimates garch estimation on impossibly long series The last two of these show the variability of garch estimates on simulated series where we know the ... [Read more...]

garch estimation on impossibly long series

September 20, 2012 | Pat

The variability of garch estimates when the series has 100,000 returns. Experiment The post “Variability of garch estimates” showed estimates of 1000 series that were each 2000 observations long.  Here we do the same thing except that the series each have 100,000 observations. That would be four centuries of daily data.  It’s not ... [Read more...]

Variability of garch estimates

September 17, 2012 | Pat

Not exactly pin-point accuracy. Previously Two related posts are: A practical introduction to garch modeling garch and long tails Experiment 1000 simulated return series were generated.  The garch(1,1) parameters were alpha=.07, beta=.925, omega=.01.  The asymptotic variance for this model is 2.  The half-life is about 138 days. The simulated series used a Student’... [Read more...]

Not fooled by randomness

September 10, 2012 | Pat

The paper is “Not Fooled by Randomness: Using Random Portfolios to Analyze Investment Funds” by Roberto Stein.  Here is an explanation of the idea of random portfolios. Favorite sentence The real question here is whether we’re actually measuring skill, or these are still measures of performance, so influenced by ... [Read more...]
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