The Optimal Demand for Retail Derivatives
36 Pages Posted: 6 Mar 2008
Date Written: March 3, 2008
It has been shown that investors can benefit from including derivatives into their portfolios. For retail investors, however, a direct investment in derivatives is often too complicated. Investment certificates offer a potential solution to this problem. We analyze if retail investors who buy and hold their portfolio for one year can indeed benefit from an investment in these certificates. We use a model with stochastic volatility and jumps calibrated to the German stock market index DAX. We find that the benefit of investing in typical retail products is equivalent to an annualized risk-free excess return of at most 35 basis points for a CRRA investor with a low risk aversion. If we take transaction costs into account, this number reduces to at most 14~bp. In terms of the types of contracts, we find that discount certificates perform best, while more sophisticated certificates, in particular those with knock-in or knock-out features, should often not be held by investors at all. Therefore, standard preferences cannot explain the large observed demand for investment certificates.
Keywords: Asset Allocation, Risk Premia, Structured Products, Discrete Trading, Calibration of Jump-Diffusion Models
JEL Classification: G11
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation