A Practical Guide to Volatility Forecasting through Calm and Storm
23 Pages Posted: 10 Nov 2009 Last revised: 15 Nov 2013
Date Written: August 1, 2011
We present a volatility forecasting comparative study within the ARCH class of models. Our goal is to identify successful predictive models over multiple horizons and to investigate how predictive ability is influenced by choices for estimation window length, innovation distribution, and frequency of parameter re-estimation. Test assets include a range of domestic and international equity indices and exchange rates. We find that model rankings are insensitive to forecast horizon and suggestions for estimation best practices emerge. While our main sample spans 1990-2008, we take advantage of the near-record surge in volatility during the last half of 2008 to ask if forecasting models or best practices break down during periods of turmoil. Surprisingly, we find that volatility during the 2008 crisis was well approximated by predictions one-day ahead, and should have been within risk managers' 1% confidence intervals up to one month ahead.
Keywords: Volatility, ARCH, Forecasting, Forecast Evaluation
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