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17

Nick Higham's specialty is algorithms to find the nearest correlation matrix. His older work involved increased performance (in order-of-convergence terms) of techniques that successively projected a nearly-positive-semi-definite matrix onto the positive semidefinite space. Perhaps even more interesting, from the practitioner point of view, is his ...


15

I can think of three reasons. First, and simplest, is that people care about variance. Second, if you really do care about draw-downs, if returns are close to normally distributed, the distribution of draw-downs is just a function of the variance, so there's no need to include draw-downs explicitly in your portfolio construction objective. Minimizing ...


14

The text of your question doesn't actually match the question title. The answer to your title is of course yes binary options make sense. And as others have pointed out with binary options your reward is limited, and conversely the risk involved in writing them is less. To answer your additional question you can replicate a binary option with a tight call ...


14

I guess it depends on what they're referring to... The traditional swap curve (LIBOR-based) is certainly not risk free, as evidenced by the experience of the financial crisis and the resulting migration to OIS discounting. The OIS curve (which is a kind of swap curve...) is now the standard risk-free curve. The Treasury yield curve is not favored, because ...


12

The majority of the movement in currencies is in the spot rates, rather than in the term structure. A 3-month rolling hedge would always be protecting against movements in the spot rates, no matter when they happen. Using your example, if the current EUR/USD rate is 1.3333, you might be able to get a 3-month forward at 1.3339. (Forgive me if I have the ...


10

I just ran across an interesting presentation comparing the effectiveness of Normal, Cauchy, and Student's-t distributions in modeling the S&P. It concludes that the normal distribution underestimates extreme movements, the Cauchy overestimates them (although a comment on the presentation points out that Mandelbrot used different parameters than the ...


10

I'm just providing a global answer to the question, as I think it can be interesting for some beginners in quant finance. The properties given by TheBridge: Normalize $\rho (\emptyset)=0$ This means you have no risk in taking no position. Sub-addiitivity $\rho(A_1+A_2) \leq \rho(A_1)+\rho(A_2)$ Having a position in two different can only decrease the ...


10

I found this paper: Conditional value-at-risk for general loss distributions by Rockafellar and Uraysev http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0378-4266(02)00271-6 which says CVaR is coherent for general loss distributions, including discrete distributions. I think that I was confused by other authors who were also confused with the definitions of CVaR. In particular, ...


10

I'm not sure about the "CAPM formula" that you are referring to. I assume you are referring to the estimated coefficient of a regression of a security on a market portfolio. That is to say \begin{equation} \beta_{security,market} = \frac{\sigma_{security,market}}{\sigma^2_{market}} \end{equation} The idiosyncratic risk is the portion of risk unexplained ...


9

I am implementing a method in Java to calculate the variance, covariance, and value at risk for a portfolio, which should be flexible for use with any number of assets in a portfolio. I am struggling with how to calculate the covariance of the assets as I can only find formulae to do so for two or three sets of values. Are you sure you are ...


9

About a year ago I saw a presentation by Attilio Meucci in London. The twist of his work is a little bit different compared to yours but the general approach is similar and there is lot to be learned from his accompanying paper: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1358533 Here he is also using PCA for dimensionality reduction constructing ...


9

Yes. Check out the Lower Partial Moments literature. In my view the best introduction to this is Narwrocki - A Brief History of Downside Risk Measures. Uryasev established equivalence between CVaR approach and low partial moments. If Markowitz had the tools at the time time, LPM utility functions would be the introductory optimization model as opposed to ...


9

There is no definitive answer to this question and there are infinite papers out there. I personally think they are better explained as mispricings. Several points: 1) Persistence of HML does not imply it has to be a risk factor. If there are idiosyncratic mispricings in individual stocks, then by construction, the ones that look cheap are going to be ...


8

You mention "daily" risk, so I'm assuming you're looking at a daily frequency. Yang-Zhang Volatility (Drift-independent Volatility Estimation Based on High, Low, Open and Close Prices) fits the bill for what you're asking, it takes into account intraday fluctuations as well.


8

The risk-netural measure has a massively important property which is worth making very clear: The price of any trade is equal to the expectation of the trade’s winnings and losses under the risk-neutral measure. This property gives us a scheme for pricing derivatives: take a collection of prices of trades that exist in the market (eg swap rates, bond ...


8

$VaR^\alpha$ is not a coherent risk measure because it fails sub-additivity (a coherent risk measure is monotonic, sub-additive, positive homogenous, and translation invariant). The expectation operator $E[\cdot]$ is linear, so it meets sub-additivity, as well as the other three properties, so $CVaR$ is a coherent risk measure.


8

Glad people are reading. Simple with more history in terms of time and indexes is better in my book. I have spent 13 years reading over 200 research papers, incorporating complicated and advanced techniques, and studying very reputable buy side research with no improvement in results. Readers are on their own to extend to lots of markets including Nikkei ...


8

You're forgetting that -2.52 is still in natural logarithm terms. So the correct answer is 2.71828183 raised to the -2.52 power which equals 0.08. Your ending portfolio value is 8% of what it was a year ago.


8

The "Component ES" section of ?ES says: For the decomposition of Gaussian ES, the estimated mean and covariance matrix are needed. For the decomposition of modified ES, also estimates of the coskewness and cokurtosis matrices are needed. The estimate of the coskewness and cokurtosis matrices are what take such a long time. You can calculate them ...


8

In Oracle Crystal Ball, we use an old algorithm, that works pretty well and converges fast. It is from Iman-Conovar. Here is the reference: Iman, R.L., Conover, W.J. 1982. A distribution-free approach to inducing rank correlation among input variables. Commun. Statist.-Simula. Computa. 11, 311-334. That said, Prof. Higham's method based on optimization ...


8

I would use the identity and three step process that: $$\textrm{Total Variance} = \textrm{Systematic Variance} + \textrm{Unsystematic Variance}$$ You can calculate systematic variance via: $$\textrm{Systematic Risk} = \beta \cdot \sigma_\textrm{market} \Rightarrow \; \textrm{Systematic Variance} = (\textrm{Systematic Risk})^2$$ then you can rearrange ...


7

A market is said to be complete if any contingent claim can be replicated by an admissible (i.e. with value process bounded from below) self-financing (i.e. all gains and losses exactly offset each other) trading strategy, a so-called replicating strategy. This strategy being constructed from primary securities - the market prices of which are unique - it ...


7

Tools from the field of stochastic optimization are best suited for these problems. In particular, attached is a paper on non-parametric density estimation for stochastic optimization that describes an algorithm if state variables can be associated with draws from the predictive distribution. Here's another approach by Kuhn. These are all one-period ...


7

Great question. We would expect 3rd party risk providers to have specialized expertise (robust regression techniques, factor research, data cleansing etc.). We might grant them these advantages but still find weakness in the product design. Let's start off with the different uses of risk models and the procedure or metric which is maximized to solve for ...


7

The short answer is that I don't know, but your question gives some hints about how to find out. The key thing for me is that you want a minimum variance portfolio. I don't think you should be thinking about some abstract mathematical operation that is "best", but rather look over a few mathematical operations and see which seems to work best for your ...


7

What you refer to as the 99.5th percentile is known as the "Value-at-Risk." You are correct that you will need to make a distributional assumption, and there is a popular and well-researched approach to this problem, though I'm not certain it could be called "standard." I would recommend you use the "truncated Levy flight" distribution. James Xiong at ...


7

Note that $\beta$ is the coefficient of the portfolio regressed on the benchmark. That is \begin{align*} r_P = \alpha+\beta r_B + \varepsilon, \end{align*} where $\varepsilon$ is the residual. The standard deviation of the residual is called the residual risk. Specifically, \begin{align*} std(\varepsilon) &= \sqrt{var(r_P-\beta r_B-\alpha)}\\ &=\sqrt{...


7

The underlying problem: your ACTR constraints aren't convex The $i$th constraint on your risk contribution can be written: $$ w_i \sum_j \sigma_{ij} w_j \leq c_i s$$ And this isn't a convex constraint because of the $w_j w_i$ terms (a function $g(x,y)=xy$ isn't convex in $x$ and $y$). They're not convex constraints, so you won't be able to write them as ...


6

You could use something like the interquartile or semi-interquartile range, which is somewhat more insensitive to extremes. This is a better measure to use if your data is skewed, however if your data is normally distributed it is still better to use the standard deviation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interquartile_range


6

There are all sorts of financial and non-financial risks. I define financial risk as all risks defined from events in the financial markets that affect all participants. Non-financial risks are all other forms of risk (including risks that a particular firm may face). Financial: Market value risk (interest rate risk, exchange prices, equity prices, ...


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