17

Arithmetic returns allow for easier cross-sectional aggregation and log returns allow for easier time-aggregation. The reason people use log returns (for equities) is that they are approximately invariant and hence easier to work with in estimating distributions. Meucci does better justice in describing invariance here. The basic idea (again, for equities) ...


9

If you want to learn more about price pressure, you should look after market impact of metaorders, which is a more adequate term. Because of the microstructure (i.e. the mix of orderbboks dynamics, trading rules, participants behaviours and habits, etc), the more you buy or sell, the more you influence the price an unfavorable way (for your trades). Just ...


7

Investor preferences for higher level moments are probably most easily explained by behavioral finance. Investors' tendency to overvalue out-sized positive and negative outcomes, such as gamblers' willingness to play negative expectancy casino games, is consistent with many of the intuitions underlying Prospect Theory. There are several possible behavioral ...


6

You could use the two factor model of Schwartz-Smith. It's a very standard model in commodities, where you observe this kind of long term mean reversion (where "long-term" is here around a year). It's a mean reversion model where the long-term mean reversion is itself a brownian proccess. This way you can have the desided stochasticity in the short term, ...


5

Some of the used heavy-tail distributions are: Log-Cauchy and Log-Gamma Lévy Burr and Weibull Mixed normal Here two papers that cover some of them and others: http://ect-pigorsch.mee.uni-bonn.de/data/research/papers/Financial_Economics,_Fat-tailed_Distributions.pdf http://www.rff.org/RFF/Documents/RFF-DP-11-19-REV.pdf


5

Edited Comments: Sharpe Ratio covers both future and historical time frames (as @Freddy points out). Referencing the "Geometric Return and Portoflio Analysis", for the historical calculation, you want to make as few assumptions as possible (in my opinion). Let $m_i \triangleq$ the monthly return for period $i$ and $r_t \triangleq$ annual return, for $i\...


5

You're right but a GBM doesn't assume that percentage returns are normally distributed. It's about log-returns. If the log-return $r_t=\ln\left(\frac{S_{t+dt}}{S_t}\right)$ is normally distributed (GBM assumption), then $r_t$ can indeed be any arbitrarily large (positive or negative) number with positive probability. This also implies that stock prices are ...


5

For a continuous variable the PDF is the derivative of CDF. So returns or prices don't have a pdf if the cdf is not differentiable, e.g. it "jumps" at some point. The simplest models we use, like normally distributed log-returns, imply that returns, cumulative returns and prices all have a pdf.


5

I'll add some comments, recognizing that 1) they are highly opinionated, and 2) they don't actually offer any real solutions. Hopefully more thoughtful and useful answers will emerge. First of all, purely from a philosophical perspective, I have to admit that I sometimes find these discussions on strategic asset allocation (SAA) "strange." ...


4

Portfolio returns are analyzed to account for risk factors only to determine what the risk factor contributed to the returns, was it the underlying assets or the skill of the portfolio manager. Fama French model explains the returns in terms of principal component such SMB and HML besides the market related returns from CAPM. These links have more detais ...


4

The most common transformations you see for these three variables on credit desks is to compute "returns" on the credit variables. So, rather than taking the straight daily differences $\Delta s_t$ of swap spreads and $\Delta H_t$ of the high yield index (by which I assume here you mean on-the-run CDX HY), practitioners will transform to $\frac{\Delta s_t}{...


4

There are a few reasons to use factor models. Most importantly, stocks tend to move together. Stated alternately, the first principal component of the securities in a domestic market tends to explain a large share of the variance. If you're concerned with multiple securities (as in portfolio optimization), then you have to account for this or you will ...


4

One economic model you could look at is the Habit model of Campbell and Cochrane (1999). The basic idea is that as the consumption of the representative investor approaches the (appropriately defined) habit level of consumption the representative investors risk aversion spikes: this means discount rates increase dramatically and we see a big drop in stock ...


4

The "hedging theory of investment" (which I first heard about from R. C. Merton) says you should invest not for returns but to hedge your liabilities. LDI (Liability Driven Investment) is one name for it. So for example a pension fund should hedge pension liabilities. A university endowment should hedge the cost of producing education, which might entail ...


4

From the wikipedia on skewness and kurtosis, both are defined as expectations of standardised moments of the respective distributions. Hence, no.


4

No, because correlation is a unitless quantity. As you use volatilities to do the scaling, the $\sqrt{252}$ factor should already be taken into account in them. If you take a correlation of 1 between two assets, multiplying your correlation matrix by a factor $C \neq 1$ risks either to underestimate correlations (by hiding perfect (anti)correlations) or have ...


4

Many pension funds use projected asset class returns (capital market assumptions or CMAs) and backward-looking estimates of volatilities and correlations to set the strategic asset allocation. A 10-year period for the return projection is typical. The determination of actual weights is more or less an exercise in constrained mean-variance optimization. ...


4

The source of the problem is twofold: Dimensionality of variance directions is low (most directions have close to 0 variance) Portfolio Optimization is prone to an unstable covariance matrix (which almost always is the case) And now I will try to explain what that means in more detail and then sum it up in a simple, intuitive statement: If you have a ...


3

It depends on what makes more economic sense: If you are calculating CAGR for FX (which is traded effectively 24/7) strategy returns for instance, it would seem fair to use 365.25 calendar days. If you are calculating CAGR for internal reporting of trading strategy returns on a product with 5 market sessions per week, it would seem fair to use 252 calendar ...


3

Your intuition is not exactly right. To start with often the facts that small minus big or high minus low explain the cross-section of returns is called a puzzle. It is called a puzzle precisely because there is no unifying explanation for them. It is fairly agreed among academics that the Size effect is most likely a January effect, or probably it even ...


3

Evans and Schmitz (2015) might give an answer to your question if the Fama-French factors are indeed working or not. Value, size and momentum have a long history as stock price predictors, and similar indicators have been applied to stock indices in order to predict the performance of one national index against another. Published back tests of trading ...


3

The answer depends on what model you assume for the underlying. The situation, that the underlying can become negative also occures for interest rate spreads and even for interest rates. Here some people use absolute changes, that is $X_{i} - X_{i-1}$ instead of relative changes $\frac{X_{i} - X_{i-1}}{X_{i-1}}$ or (which is almost the same as relative ...


3

I think you need to exactly define which ratio you are talking about. For example the ex-post Sharpe ratio's components are all well known. You have your realized returns, risk free returns (or whatever other benchmark you define your excess returns against) and realized volatility of returns. For realized asset returns you should not use log returns but ...


3

It looks like 1 and 2 are different portfolios of companies. 1 is a portfolio of dual-listed companies, and 2 is a portfolio of everything in the "market". Once you have constructed these these portfolios, let's say you put the returns for every time step into a vector, call it r, then the average return would be mean(r). You need some clarification as ...


3

In a nutshell, this is the "variance drag" problem. The mechanics of how you short something matter, and it's relevant to the discussion of levered/inverse ETFs that behave differently from classic/vanilla positions. Consider an XYZ future at 100. A day later it's 1% up, at 101. Two days later, it's up 1% again, at 102.1. If I go long, I make 2.1 profit. ...


3

For some clarification, what assets are you allocating and what is the objective? Does it include stocks, bonds, real estate, etc.? Do you care about returns, volatility, drawdown, etc? Assuming the answers are yes and you are concerned with what is usually referred to as asset allocation, I would next ask why you want to completely ignore historical ...


3

EWMA (and other sort of moving averages) introduces positive autocorrelation into otherwise uncorrelated returns. The fitted values of EWMA are linear combinations of past returns, and the constituent elements of these combinations overlap. Therefore, positive autocorrelation arises. If you have autocorrelated returns to begin with, they would in all ...


2

Another important reason for using risk-adjusted returns is to disentangle "skill" from "risk-taking". Think of a equation for a fund's performance like: $r_{i,t}-r_f=\alpha_i+\epsilon_{i,t}$ where $\alpha_i$ gives you the average excess return of fund $i$. Alpha is often interpreted as measure of a managers' skill in timing the market and selecting ...


2

You can compute daily gross returns and then simply multiply them: $R_w=\prod_i \left(1+R_i \right)-1$, where $R_i=P_{close,i}/P_{close,i-1}-1$


2

If you do step 1 and step 2 every day, then you indeed assume that you rebalance the strategy every day. If you want to assume differently, for example monthly, you need to first compound the returns for each asset separately during the whole month and then do a weighted sum of the compounded returns using the weights of each asset at the beginning of the ...


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