# Articles by Pat

### Physical books of “The R Inferno” and “S Poetry”

January 12, 2012 |

Hardcopy versions of both The R Inferno and S Poetry are now available for sale. Physical economy Buy The R Inferno (the version dated 2011 April 30)   Buy S Poetry Discount The publisher, Lulu, has a coupon for a 25% discount off purchases (up to a maximum of \$50) that is good until the … ... [Read more...]

### Sensitivity of risk parity to variance differences

January 9, 2012 |

Equal risk contribution of assets determines the asset weights given the variance matrix.  How sensitive are those weights to the variance estimate? Previously The post “Risk parity” gave an overview of the idea. In particular it distinguished the cases: the assets have equal risk contribution groups of assets have equal ... [Read more...]

### The top 7 portfolio optimization problems

January 5, 2012 |

Stumbling blocks on the trek from theory to practical optimization in fund management. Problem 1: portfolio optimization is too hard If you are using a spreadsheet, then this is indeed a problem. Spreadsheets are dangerous when given a complex task.  Portfolio optimization qualifies as complex in this context (complex in data ...

### Market predictions for years 2011 and 2012

January 2, 2012 |

A review of market predictions and results for 2011, and a calibration for 2012 predictions (of 19 equity indices plus oil). Previously One year ago the post “Revised market prediction distributions” presented plots showing the variability of various markets assuming no market-moving forces. The follow-up post “Some market predictions enhanced some of those ... [Read more...]

### R-specific review of blog year 2011

December 28, 2011 |

Most popular posts Two of the ten most popular posts during the year were completely about R: The R Inferno revised (number 6) Solve your R problems (number 9) R played a role in the other eight top ten, and many of the rest of the posts as well. R The R ...

### Volatility estimation and time-adjusted returns

December 15, 2011 |

Do non-trading days explain the mystery of volatility estimation? Previously The post “The volatility mystery continues” showed that volatility estimated with daily data tends to be larger (in recent years) than when estimated with lower frequency returns. Time adjusting One of the comments — from Joseph Wilson — was that there is ... [Read more...]

### LondonR recap

December 10, 2011 |

The biggest and perhaps best meeting yet. The talks James Long: “Easy Parallel Stochastic Simulations using Amazon’s EC2 & Segue”.  This was a lively talk about James’ package to use Amazon’s cloud to speed up a (huge) call to lapply.  The good part is that if you want to ...

### The volatility mystery continues

December 5, 2011 |

How do volatility estimates based on monthly versus daily returns differ? Previously The post “The mystery of volatility estimates from daily versus monthly returns” and its offspring “Another look at autocorrelation in the S&P 500″ discussed what appears to be an anomaly in the estimation of volatility from daily versus ... [Read more...]

### Alpha decay in portfolios

November 30, 2011 |

How does the effect of our expected returns change over time?  This is not academic  curiosity, we want to know in the context of our portfolio if we can.  And we can — we visualize the effect of expected returns in situ. First step The idea is to look at the ... [Read more...]

### Asynchrony in market data

November 21, 2011 |

Be careful if you have global daily data. The issue Markets around the world are open at different times.  November 21 for the Tokyo stock market is different from November 21 for the London stock market.  The New York stock market has yet a different November 21. The effect The major effect is ... [Read more...]

### Performance measurement is about decisions

November 16, 2011 |

The return of a hypothetical fund was 17.9% in 2010.  We want to know if that is good or bad. The benchmark method The assets in the portfolio are constituents of the S&P 500, so we can compare our fund return to the return of the index. Figure 1: 2010 returns of: the fund ... [Read more...]

### Another look at autocorrelation in the S&P 500

November 11, 2011 |

Casting doubt on the possibility of mean reversion in the S&P 500 lately. Previously A look at volatility estimates in “The mystery of volatility estimates from daily versus monthly returns” led to considering the possibility of autocorrelation in the returns.  I estimated an AR(1) model through time and added a ... [Read more...]

### The mystery of volatility estimates from daily versus monthly returns

November 8, 2011 |

What drives the estimates apart? Previously A post by Investment Performance Guy prompted “Variability of volatility estimates from daily data”. In my comments to the original post I suggested that using daily data to estimate volatility would be equivalent to using monthly data except with less variability.  Dave, the Investment ... [Read more...]

### Variability of volatility estimates from daily returns

November 3, 2011 |

Investment Performance Guy has a post “Periodicity of risk statistcs (and other measures)” in which it is wondered how valid volatility estimates are from a month of daily returns. Here is a quick look.  Figure 1 shows the variability (and a 95% confidence interval) of volatility estimates for the S&P 500 index ... [Read more...]

### Risk parity

October 31, 2011 |

Some thoughts and resources regarding a popular fund management buzzword. The idea Given asset categories (like stocks, bonds and commodities) create a portfolio where each category contributes equally to the portfolio variance. Two operations There are two cases in creating a risk parity portfolio: the universe is the asset categories ... [Read more...]

### Introduction to “Numerical Methods and Optimization in Finance”

October 27, 2011 |

The book is by Manfred Gilli, Dietmar Maringer and Enrico Schumann.  I haven’t actually seen the book, so my judgement of it is mainly by the cover (and knowing the first two authors). The parts of the book closest to my heart are optimization, particularly portfolio optimization, and particularly ...

### How to compute portfolio returns badly

October 24, 2011 |

For those who naturally compute portfolio returns correctly here are some lessons in how to do it wrong. The data Random portfolios were generated from constituents of the S&P 500 with constraints: long-only exactly 20 assets in the portfolio no more than 10% weight for any asset (just for fun) the sum ... [Read more...]

### Does the S&P 500 exhibit seasonality through the year?

October 20, 2011 |

Are there times of the year when returns are better or worse? Abnormal Returns prompted this question with “SAD and the Halloween indicator” in which it is claimed that the US market tends to outperform from about Halloween until April. Data The data consisted of 15,548 daily returns of the S&... [Read more...]

### Predictability of kurtosis and skewness in S&P constituents

October 3, 2011 |

How much predictability is there for these higher moments? Data The data consist of daily returns from the start of 2007 through mid 2011 for almost all of the S&P 500 constituents. Estimates were made over each half year of data.  Hence there are 8 pairs of estimates where one estimate immediately follows ... [Read more...]

### Time series equivalence of brains and markets

September 27, 2011 |

fMRI data from 90 locations in the brain look somewhat like daily closing prices on 116 stocks if you squint just right. Marginal Revolution was nice enough to point to “Topological isomorphisms of human brain and financial market networks”. I’ve only just glanced through the paper.  I find it interesting, but ... [Read more...]
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