Machine Learning and Portfolio Optimization

The portfolio optimization model has limited impact in practice due to estimation issues when applied with real data. To address this, we adapt two machine learning methods, regularization and cross-validation, for portfolio optimization. First, we introduce performance-based regularization (PBR), where the idea is to constrain the sample variances of the estimated portfolio risk and return, … Read more

Robust Investment Management with Uncertainty in Fund Managers’ Asset Allocation

We consider a problem where an investment manager must allocate an available budget among a set of fund managers, whose asset allocations are not precisely known to the investment manager. In this paper, we propose a robust framework that takes into account the uncertainty stemming from the fund managers’ allocation, as well as the more … Read more

Robust Growth-Optimal Portfolios

The growth-optimal portfolio is designed to have maximum expected log-return over the next rebalancing period. Thus, it can be computed with relative ease by solving a static optimization problem. The growth-optimal portfolio has sparked fascination among finance professionals and researchers because it can be shown to outperform any other portfolio with probability 1 in the … Read more

Decision Making Based on a Nonparametric Shape-Preserving Perturbation of a Reference Utility Function

This paper develops a robust optimization based decision-making framework using a nonparametric perturbation of a reference utility function. The perturbation preserves the risk-aversion property but solves the problem of ambiguity and inconsistency in eliciting the reference utility function. We study the topology of the perturbation, and show that in the decision-making framework the price of … Read more

On two relaxations of quadratically-constrained cardinality minimization

This paper considers a quadratically-constrained cardinality minimization problem with applications to digital filter design, subset selection for linear regression, and portfolio selection. Two relaxations are investigated: the continuous relaxation of a mixed integer formulation, and an optimized diagonal relaxation that exploits a simple special case of the problem. For the continuous relaxation, an absolute upper … Read more

Pareto Efficiency in Robust Optimization

This paper formalizes and adapts the well known concept of Pareto efficiency in the context of the popular robust optimization (RO) methodology. We argue that the classical RO paradigm need not produce solutions that possess the associated property of Pareto optimality, and illustrate via examples how this could lead to inefficiencies and sub-optimal performance in … Read more

Robust Decision Making using a General Utility Set

We develop the concept of utility robustness to address the problem of ambiguity and inconsistency in utility assessments. A robust decision-making framework is built on a utility set which characterizes a decision maker’s risk attitude described by boundary and auxiliary conditions. This framework is studied using the Sample Average Approximation (SAA) approach. We show the … Read more

Robust Decision Making using a Risk-Averse Utility Set

Eliciting the utility of a decision maker is difficult. In this paper, we develop a flexible decision making framework, which uses the concept of utility robustness to address the problem of ambiguity and inconsistency in utility assessments. The ideas are developed by giving a probabilistic interpretation to utility and marginal utility functions. Boundary and additional … Read more

Efficient Cardinality/Mean-Variance Portfolios

A number of variants of the classical Markowitz mean-variance optimization model for portfolio selection have been investigated to render it more realistic. Recently, it has been studied the imposition of a cardinality constraint, setting an upper bound on the number of active positions taken in the portfolio, in an attempt to improve its performance and … Read more

Simultaneous Pursuit of Out-of-Sample Performance and Sparsity in Index Tracking Portfolios

Index tracking is a passive investment strategy in which an investor purchases a set of assets to mimic a market index. The tracking error, the difference between the performances of the index and the portfolio, may be minimized by buying all the assets contained in the index. However, this strategy results in a considerable amount … Read more