Mean-Variance Portfolio Selection With 'At-Risk' Constraints and Discrete Distributions
Posted: 1 Apr 2007 Last revised: 5 Sep 2008
We examine the impact of adding either a VaR or a CVaR constraint to the mean-variance model when security returns are assumed to have a discrete distribution with finitely many jump points. Three main results are obtained. First, portfolios on the VaR-constrained boundary exhibit (K 2)-fund separation, where K is the number of states for which the portfolios suffer losses equal to the VaR bound. Second, portfolios on the CVaR-constrained boundary exhibit (K 3)-fund separation, where K is the number of states for which the portfolios suffer losses equal to their VaRs. Third, an example illustrates that while the VaR of the CVaR-constrained optimal portfolio is close to that of the VaR-constrained optimal portfolio, the CVaR of the former is notably smaller than that of the latter. This result suggests that a CVaR constraint is more effective than a VaR constraint to curtail large losses in the mean-variance model.
Keywords: Value-at-risk, Conditional value-at-risk, Portfolio selection, Discrete distributions
JEL Classification: G11, D81
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation