355 research outputs found

    A Note on the Quantile Formulation

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    Many investment models in discrete or continuous-time settings boil down to maximizing an objective of the quantile function of the decision variable. This quantile optimization problem is known as the quantile formulation of the original investment problem. Under certain monotonicity assumptions, several schemes to solve such quantile optimization problems have been proposed in the literature. In this paper, we propose a change-of-variable and relaxation method to solve the quantile optimization problems without using the calculus of variations or making any monotonicity assumptions. The method is demonstrated through a portfolio choice problem under rank-dependent utility theory (RDUT). We show that this problem is equivalent to a classical Merton's portfolio choice problem under expected utility theory with the same utility function but a different pricing kernel explicitly determined by the given pricing kernel and probability weighting function. With this result, the feasibility, well-posedness, attainability and uniqueness issues for the portfolio choice problem under RDUT are solved. It is also shown that solving functional optimization problems may reduce to solving probabilistic optimization problems. The method is applicable to general models with law-invariant preference measures including portfolio choice models under cumulative prospect theory (CPT) or RDUT, Yaari's dual model, Lopes' SP/A model, and optimal stopping models under CPT or RDUT.Comment: to appear in Mathematical Financ

    Investment under Duality Risk Measure

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    One index satisfies the duality axiom if one agent, who is uniformly more risk-averse than another, accepts a gamble, the latter accepts any less risky gamble under the index. Aumann and Serrano (2008) show that only one index defined for so-called gambles satisfies the duality and positive homogeneity axioms. We call it a duality index. This paper extends the definition of duality index to all outcomes including all gambles, and considers a portfolio selection problem in a complete market, in which the agent's target is to minimize the index of the utility of the relative investment outcome. By linking this problem to a series of Merton's optimum consumption-like problems, the optimal solution is explicitly derived. It is shown that if the prior benchmark level is too high (which can be verified), then the investment risk will be beyond any agent's risk tolerance. If the benchmark level is reasonable, then the optimal solution will be the same as that of one of the Merton's series problems, but with a particular value of absolute risk aversion, which is given by an explicit algebraic equation as a part of the optimal solution. According to our result, it is riskier to achieve the same surplus profit in a stable market than in a less-stable market, which is consistent with the common financial intuition.Comment: 17 pages, 1 figur

    A Note on the Monge-Kantorovich Problem in the Plane

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    The Monge-Kantorovich mass-transportation problem has been shown to be fundamental for various basic problems in analysis and geometry in recent years. Shen and Zheng (2010) proposed a probability method to transform the celebrated Monge-Kantorovich problem in a bounded region of the Euclidean plane into a Dirichlet boundary problem associated to a nonlinear elliptic equation. Their results are original and sound, however, their arguments leading to the main results are skipped and difficult to follow. In the present paper, we adopt a different approach and give a short and easy-followed detailed proof for their main results

    Optimal stopping under probability distortion

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    We formulate an optimal stopping problem for a geometric Brownian motion where the probability scale is distorted by a general nonlinear function. The problem is inherently time inconsistent due to the Choquet integration involved. We develop a new approach, based on a reformulation of the problem where one optimally chooses the probability distribution or quantile function of the stopped state. An optimal stopping time can then be recovered from the obtained distribution/quantile function, either in a straightforward way for several important cases or in general via the Skorokhod embedding. This approach enables us to solve the problem in a fairly general manner with different shapes of the payoff and probability distortion functions. We also discuss economical interpretations of the results. In particular, we justify several liquidation strategies widely adopted in stock trading, including those of "buy and hold", "cut loss or take profit", "cut loss and let profit run" and "sell on a percentage of historical high".Comment: Published in at http://dx.doi.org/10.1214/11-AAP838 the Annals of Applied Probability (http://www.imstat.org/aap/) by the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (http://www.imstat.org

    Moral-hazard-free insurance: mean-variance premium principle and rank-dependent utility theory

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    This paper investigates a Pareto optimal insurance problem, where the insured maximizes her rank-dependent utility preference and the insurer is risk neutral and employs the mean-variance premium principle. To eliminate potential moral hazard issues, we only consider the so-called moral-hazard-free insurance contracts that obey the incentive compatibility constraint. The insurance problem is first formulated as a non-concave maximization problem involving Choquet expectation, then turned into a concave quantile optimization problem and finally solved by the calculus of variations method. The optimal contract is expressed by a second-order ordinary integro-differential equation with nonlocal operator. An effective numerical method is proposed to compute the optimal contract assuming the probability weighting function has a density. Also, we provide an example which is analytically solved

    Continuous-Time Markowitz's Model with Transaction Costs

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    A continuous-time Markowitz's mean-variance portfolio selection problem is studied in a market with one stock, one bond, and proportional transaction costs. This is a singular stochastic control problem,inherently in a finite time horizon. With a series of transformations, the problem is turned into a so-called double obstacle problem, a well studied problem in physics and partial differential equation literature, featuring two time-varying free boundaries. The two boundaries, which define the buy, sell, and no-trade regions, are proved to be smooth in time. This in turn characterizes the optimal strategy, via a Skorokhod problem, as one that tries to keep a certain adjusted bond-stock position within the no-trade region. Several features of the optimal strategy are revealed that are remarkably different from its no-transaction-cost counterpart. It is shown that there exists a critical length in time, which is dependent on the stock excess return as well as the transaction fees but independent of the investment target and the stock volatility, so that an expected terminal return may not be achievable if the planning horizon is shorter than that critical length (while in the absence of transaction costs any expected return can be reached in an arbitrary period of time). It is further demonstrated that anyone following the optimal strategy should not buy the stock beyond the point when the time to maturity is shorter than the aforementioned critical length. Moreover, the investor would be less likely to buy the stock and more likely to sell the stock when the maturity date is getting closer. These features, while consistent with the widely accepted investment wisdom, suggest that the planning horizon is an integral part of the investment opportunities.Comment: 30 pages, 1 figur

    Multidimensional indefinite stochastic Riccati equations and zero-sum linear-quadratic stochastic differential games with non-markovian regime switching

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    This paper is concerned with two-player zero-sum linear-quadratic stochastic differential games in a regime switching model. The controlled inhomogeneous system coefficients depend on the underlying noises, so it is a non-Markovian regime switching model. Based on a new kind of multidimensional indefinite stochastic Riccati equation (SRE) and a multidimensional linear backward stochastic differential equation (BSDE) with unbounded coefficients, we can provide optimal feedback control-strategy pairs for the two players in a closed-loop form. The main contribution of this paper, which is important in its own right from the BSDE theory point of view, is to prove the existence and uniqueness of the new kind of multidimensional indefinite SRE. Interestingly, the components of the solution can take positive, zero and negative values simultaneously. We also obtain the corresponding optimal feedback control-strategy pairs for homogeneous systems under closed convex cone control constraints. Finally, these results are applied to portfolio selection problems with different short-selling prohibition constraints in a regime switching market with random coefficients