Portfolio Selection: A Target-Distribution Approach
European Journal of Operational Research (forthcoming)
63 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2021 Last revised: 14 Feb 2023
Date Written: February 13, 2023
We introduce a novel framework for the portfolio selection problem in which investors aim to target a return distribution, and the optimal portfolio has a return distribution as close as possible to the targeted one. The proposed framework can be applied to a variety of investment objectives. In this paper, we focus on improving the higher moments of mean-variance-efficient portfolios by designing the target so that its first two moments match those of the chosen efficient portfolio but has more desirable higher moments. We show theoretically that the optimal portfolio is in general different from the mean-variance portfolio, but remains mean-variance efficient when asset returns are Gaussian. Otherwise, it can move away from the efficient frontier to better match the higher moments of the target distribution. An extensive empirical analysis using three characteristic-sorted datasets and a dataset of 100 individual stocks indicates that the proposed framework delivers a satisfying compromise between mean-variance efficiency and improved higher moments.
Keywords: portfolio optimization, higher moments, downside risk, Kullback-Leibler divergence
JEL Classification: G11, G12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation