Random portfolios

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...]

Random portfolios versus Monte Carlo

July 2, 2012 | Pat

What is the difference between Monte Carlo — as it is usually defined in finance — and random portfolios? The meaning of “Monte Carlo” The idea of “Monte Carlo” is very simple.  It is a fancy word for “simulation”. As usual, it is all too possible to find incredibly muddied explanations of ... [Read more...]

Betas of the low vol cohorts

April 4, 2012 | Pat

How did the constraints affect portfolio betas, and how did the betas change over time? Previously “Low (and high) volatility strategy effects” created 6 sets of random portfolios — the so-called low vol cohorts — as of 2007 and showed their performance up to about a month ago. “Rebalancing the low vol cohorts” looked ... [Read more...]

Low (and high) volatility strategy effects

March 23, 2012 | Pat

Does minimum variance act differently from low volatility?  Do either of them act like low beta?  What about high volatility versus high beta? Inspiration Falkenblog had a post investigating differences in results when using different strategies for low volatility investing.  Here we look not at a single portfolio of a ... [Read more...]

Alpha decay in portfolios

November 30, 2011 | Pat

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...]

Performance measurement is about decisions

November 16, 2011 | Pat

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...]

The effect of beta equal 1

August 29, 2011 | Pat

Investment Performance Guy had a post about beta equal 1.  It made me wonder about the properties of portfolios with beta equal 1.  When I looked, I got a bigger answer than I expected. Data I have some S&P 500 data lying about from the post ‘On “Stock correlation has been rising”‘.  ... [Read more...]

The indices understate the carnage

August 9, 2011 | Pat

The first 6 trading days of August have been bad for the major indices, but how variable is that across portfolios? To answer that, two sets of random portfolios were generated from the constituents of the S&P 500.  The trading days are 2011 August 1 — 5 and 8. The returns of the indices for … Continue ... [Read more...]

Risk fraction constraints and volatility

April 21, 2011 | Pat

What is the effect on predicted and realized volatility of substituting risk fraction constraints for weight constraints? Previously This post depends on two previous blog posts: “Unproxying weight constraints” “Weight compared to risk fraction” The exact same sets of random portfolios are used in this post that were generated in ... [Read more...]

Weight compared to risk fraction

April 18, 2011 | Pat

How well do asset weight constraints constrain risk? The setup In “Unproxying weight constraints” I claimed that many constraints on asset weights are really a proxy for constraining risk. That is not a problem if weights are a good proxy for risk.  So the question is: how good of a ... [Read more...]

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