How Can Machine Learning Advance Quantitative Asset Management?
21 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2023
Date Written: January 9, 2023
The emerging literature suggests that machine learning (ML) is beneficial in many asset pricing applications because of its ability to detect and exploit nonlinearities and interaction effects that tend to go unnoticed with simpler modelling approaches. In this paper, we discuss the promises and pitfalls of applying machine learning to asset management, by reviewing the existing ML literature from the perspective of a prudent practitioner. The focus is on the methodological design choices that can critically affect predictive outcomes and on an evaluation of the frequent claim that ML gives spectacular performance improvements. In light of the practical considerations, the apparent advantage of ML is reduced, but still likely to make a difference for investors who adhere to a sound research protocol to navigate the intrinsic pitfalls of ML.
Keywords: machine learning, asset management, portfolio management, factor investing
JEL Classification: G10, G12, G17
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