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Modeling a Risk-Based Criterion for a Portfolio with Options

24 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2016  

Geng Deng

Wells Fargo

Tim Dulaney

Securities and Exchange Commission

Craig J. McCann

Securities Litigation and Consulting Group

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 29, 2014


The presence of options in a portfolio fundamentally alters the portfolio’s risk and return profiles when compared with an all-equity portfolio. In this paper, we advocate modeling a risk-based criterion for optioned portfolio selection and rebalancing problems. The criterion is inspired by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s risk based margining system, which sets the collateralization requirements on margin accounts. The margin criterion computes the losses expected at the portfolio level, using expected stock price and volatility variations, and is itself an optimization problem. Our contribution is to remodel the criterion as a quadratic programming subproblem of the main portfolio optimization problem, using option Greeks. We also extend the margin subproblem to a continuous domain. The quadratic programming problems thus designed can be solved numerically or in closed form with high efficiency, greatly facilitating the main portfolio selection problem. We present two extended practical examples of the application of our approach to obtain optimal portfolios with options. These examples include a study of liquidity effects (bid–ask spreads and limited order sizes) and sensitivity to changing market conditions. Our analysis shows that the approach advocated here is more stable and more efficient than discrete approaches to portfolio selection.

Keywords: risk-based criterion, options, expected loss

Suggested Citation

Deng, Geng and Dulaney, Tim and McCann, Craig J., Modeling a Risk-Based Criterion for a Portfolio with Options (August 29, 2014). Journal of Risk, Vol. 16, No. 6, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2791410

Geng Deng (Contact Author)

Wells Fargo ( email )

1753 Pinnacle Dr
7th Floor
Mc Lean, VA Virginia 22102
United States

Tim Dulaney

Securities and Exchange Commission ( email )

100 F Street, NW
Washington, DC 20549-1105
United States

Craig McCann

Securities Litigation and Consulting Group ( email )

3998 Fair Ridge Drive, Suite 250
Fairfax, VA 22033
United States

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