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Forecasting the Equity Premium and Optimal Portfolios
Linköping University, Department of Mathematics.
Linköping University, Department of Mathematics.
2008 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (professional degree), 20 points / 30 hpStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The expected equity premium is an important parameter in many financial models, especially within portfolio optimization. A good forecast of the future equity premium is therefore of great interest. In this thesis we seek to forecast the equity premium, use it in portfolio optimization and then give evidence on how sensitive the results are to estimation errors and how the impact of these can be minimized.

Linear prediction models are commonly used by practitioners to forecast the expected equity premium, this with mixed results. To only choose the model that performs the best in-sample for forecasting, does not take model uncertainty into account. Our approach is to still use linear prediction models, but also taking model uncertainty into consideration by applying Bayesian model averaging. The predictions are used in the optimization of a portfolio with risky assets to investigate how sensitive portfolio optimization is to estimation errors in the mean vector and covariance matrix. This is performed by using a Monte Carlo based heuristic called portfolio resampling.

The results show that the predictive ability of linear models is not substantially improved by taking model uncertainty into consideration. This could mean that the main problem with linear models is not model uncertainty, but rather too low predictive ability. However, we find that our approach gives better forecasts than just using the historical average as an estimate. Furthermore, we find some predictive ability in the the GDP, the short term spread and the volatility for the five years to come. Portfolio resampling proves to be useful when the input parameters in a portfolio optimization problem is suffering from vast uncertainty.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Matematiska institutionen , 2008. , 108 p.
Keyword [en]
equity premium, Bayesian model averaging, linear prediction, estimation errors, Markowitz optimization
National Category
Economics and Business
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-11795ISRN: LITH-MAT-EX--2008/04--SEOAI: diva2:18211
2008-04-30, 2B:841, A-huset, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 10:15
Available from: 2008-06-23 Created: 2008-06-23

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