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Covariance Estimation in Dynamic Portfolio Optimization: A Realized Single Factor Model


Lada M. Kyj


Humboldt University of Berlin; Quantitative Products Laboratory

Barbara Ostdiek


Rice University - Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business

Katherine Ensor


Rice University - George R. Brown School of Engineering

July 9, 2009

AFA 2010 Atlanta Meetings Paper

Abstract:     
Realized covariance estimation for large dimension problems is little explored and poses challenges in terms of computational burden and estimation error. In a global minimum volatility setting, we investigate the performance of covariance conditioning techniques applied to the realized covariance matrices of the 30 DJIA stocks. We find that not only is matrix conditioning necessary to deliver the benefits of high frequency data, but a single factor model, with a smoothed covariance estimate, outperforms the fully estimated realized covariance in one-step ahead forecasts. Furthermore, a mixed-frequency single-factor model - with factor coefficients estimated using low-frequency data and variances estimated using high-frequency data performs better than the realized single-factor estimator. The mixed-frequency model is not only parsimonious but it also avoids estimation of high-frequency covariances, an attractive feature for less frequently traded assets. Volatility dimension curves reveal that it is difficult to distinguish among estimators at low portfolio dimensions, but for well-conditioned estimators the performance gain relative to the benchmark 1/N portfolio increases with N.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 38

Keywords: Factor Model, Realized Covariance, Volatilty Timing

JEL Classification: C14, G11, G12

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Date posted: March 22, 2009 ; Last revised: October 17, 2009

Suggested Citation

Kyj, Lada M. and Ostdiek, Barbara and Ensor, Katherine, Covariance Estimation in Dynamic Portfolio Optimization: A Realized Single Factor Model (July 9, 2009). AFA 2010 Atlanta Meetings Paper. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1364642 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1364642

Contact Information

Lada M. Kyj (Contact Author)
Humboldt University of Berlin ( email )
Spandauer Str. 1
Berlin, 10178
Germany
Quantitative Products Laboratory ( email )
Alexanderstrasse 5
Berlin, 10099
Germany
Barbara Ostdiek
Rice University - Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business ( email )
6100 South Main Street
P.O. Box 1892
Houston, TX 77005-1892
United States
713-348-5384 (Phone)
713-348-5251 (Fax)
Katherine Ensor
Rice University - George R. Brown School of Engineering ( email )
United States
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