Asset Pricing, Asset Allocation and Risk-Adjusted Performance with Multiple Goals and Agency: The Goals and Risk-based Asset Pricing Model

40 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2020

See all articles by Arun Muralidhar

Arun Muralidhar

AlphaEngine Global Investment Solutions; George Washington University

Date Written: January 20, 2020


Investment managers require a consistent asset pricing model, asset allocation recommendations and risk-adjusted performance measures (or the “three facets of investing”) to be effective in managing portfolios. Incorporating three critical realities of investing into these models (i.e., that investors have many stochastic goals, seek to delegate to skillful agents, and maximize risk-adjusted returns as opposed to expected utility) provides recommendations on the three facets that are markedly different from the foundational papers of Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT). This is important as Goals-based Investing (GBI) and delegation are now the norm, and investors globally are not meeting their goals by adopting traditional MPT. The paper briefly surveys the literature on MPT, GBI, and agency before providing a normative Goals- and Risk-Based Asset Pricing Model (GRAPM) that includes these three realities of investing and articulates the three new facets. GRAPM exploits a simple idea that a relatively risk-free asset for one stochastic goal is a risky asset for another, and vice versa. These two assets, plus the traditional absolute risk-free rate of MPT, allow us to triangulate to establish returns for all other assets based on the return of any goal-replicating asset and multiple correlations (as opposed to a single relationship with the unobservable “market” portfolio). This approach creates a “pair-wise equilibrium” for all assets – very different from MPT - and also lends itself easily to a new asset pricing model with heterogeneous investors (i.e., each investor has a unique goal). GRAPM incorporates a “risk-aversion” parameter that is also easily observable, unlike MPT, and appears to explain why seemingly similar investors can have markedly different asset allocations or expected returns.

Keywords: Pair-wise Equilibrium, GRAPM, Goals Based Investing, Asset Pricing, Asset Allocation, Risk-Adjusted Performance, Heterogeneous Investors, GBI, CAPM, RAPM, ICAPM, Three Fund Separation, Zeta, Relative Beta, Goal-Replicating Assets, SeLFIES, BFFS, BEST, M-cube, M-square, Sharpe Ratio

JEL Classification: G1, G2, G12

Suggested Citation

Muralidhar, Arun, Asset Pricing, Asset Allocation and Risk-Adjusted Performance with Multiple Goals and Agency: The Goals and Risk-based Asset Pricing Model (January 20, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Arun Muralidhar (Contact Author)

AlphaEngine Global Investment Solutions ( email )

Great Falls, VA
United States


George Washington University ( email )

2121 I Street NW
Washington, DC 20052
United States

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