NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Variable Selection for Portfolio Choice

Yacine Ait-Sahalia, Michael W. Brandt

NBER Working Paper No. 8127
Issued in February 2001
NBER Program(s):   AP

We study asset allocation when the conditional moments of returns are partly predictable. Rather than first model the return distribution and subsequently characterize the portfolio choice, we determine directly the dependence of the optimal portfolio weights on the predictive variables. We combine the predictors into a single index that best captures time-variations in investment opportunities. This index helps investors determine which economic variables they should track and, more importantly, in what combination. We consider investors with both expected utility (mean-variance and CRRA) and non-expected utility (ambiguity aversion and prospect theory) objectives and characterize their market-timing, horizon effects, and hedging demands.

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Published: "Variability Selection for Portfolio Choice", Journal of Finance, Vol. 56,pp. 1297-1351 (2001).

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