Portfolio Selection With Exploration of New Investment Opportunities
58 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2020 Last revised: 7 Oct 2021
Date Written: June 12, 2020
We introduce a model for portfolio selection with an extendable investment universe where an agent with mean-variance preferences faces a trade-off between exploiting existing and exploring for new investment opportunities. When the agent chooses to explore, a new risky asset is discovered and the agent subsequently invests in the extended universe. We first provide conditions for wellposedness and characterize the optimal amount devoted to exploration. Our model shows that incremental exploration does not pay off, that it is increasingly worthwhile to explore in worse market environments, and that investment performance measured by the Sharpe ratio is increasing in the initial wealth of the agent indicating that richer agents can make better use of new investment opportunities. We further generalize our model and verify the robustness of the main findings with regards to various modeling assumptions.
Keywords: portfolio selection, mean-variance optimization, exploration vs exploitation, investment universe, alternative investments
JEL Classification: C61, G11
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation