765 research outputs found

    Continuous-time mean-variance efficiency: the 80% rule

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    This paper studies a continuous-time market where an agent, having specified an investment horizon and a targeted terminal mean return, seeks to minimize the variance of the return. The optimal portfolio of such a problem is called mean-variance efficient \`{a} la Markowitz. It is shown that, when the market coefficients are deterministic functions of time, a mean-variance efficient portfolio realizes the (discounted) targeted return on or before the terminal date with a probability greater than 0.8072. This number is universal irrespective of the market parameters, the targeted return and the length of the investment horizon.Comment: Published at http://dx.doi.org/10.1214/105051606000000349 in the Annals of Applied Probability (http://www.imstat.org/aap/) by the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (http://www.imstat.org

    The Informed and Uniformed Agent's Price of a Contingent Claim

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    The existence of an adapted solution to a backward stochastic differential equation which is not adapted to the filtration of the underlying Brownian motion is proved. This result is applied to the pricing of contingent claims. It allows to compare the prices of agents who have different information about the evolution of the market. The problem is considered in both the classical and the Föllmer-Schweizer hedging case.

    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

    Interplay between dividend rate and business constraints for a financial corporation

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    We study a model of a corporation which has the possibility to choose various production/business policies with different expected profits and risks. In the model there are restrictions on the dividend distribution rates as well as restrictions on the risk the company can undertake. The objective is to maximize the expected present value of the total dividend distributions. We outline the corresponding Hamilton-Jacobi-Bellman equation, compute explicitly the optimal return function and determine the optimal policy. As a consequence of these results, the way the dividend rate and business constraints affect the optimal policy is revealed. In particular, we show that under certain relationships between the constraints and the exogenous parameters of the random processes that govern the returns, some business activities might be redundant, that is, under the optimal policy they will never be used in any scenario.Comment: Published at http://dx.doi.org/10.1214/105051604000000909 in the Annals of Applied Probability (http://www.imstat.org/aap/) by the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (http://www.imstat.org

    General Stopping Behaviors of Naive and Non-Committed Sophisticated Agents, with Application to Probability Distortion

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    We consider the problem of stopping a diffusion process with a payoff functional that renders the problem time-inconsistent. We study stopping decisions of naive agents who reoptimize continuously in time, as well as equilibrium strategies of sophisticated agents who anticipate but lack control over their future selves' behaviors. When the state process is one dimensional and the payoff functional satisfies some regularity conditions, we prove that any equilibrium can be obtained as a fixed point of an operator. This operator represents strategic reasoning that takes the future selves' behaviors into account. We then apply the general results to the case when the agents distort probability and the diffusion process is a geometric Brownian motion. The problem is inherently time-inconsistent as the level of distortion of a same event changes over time. We show how the strategic reasoning may turn a naive agent into a sophisticated one. Moreover, we derive stopping strategies of the two types of agent for various parameter specifications of the problem, illustrating rich behaviors beyond the extreme ones such as "never-stopping" or "never-starting"

    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