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Long Memory Conditional Volatility and Dynamic Asset Allocation
Nguyen, Anh Thi Hoang
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Reason for embargo
I need time to arrange for publication of my research
The thesis evaluates the benefit of allowing for long memory volatility dynamics in forecasts of the variance-covariance matrix for asset allocation. First, I compare the forecast performance of multivariate long memory conditional volatility models (the long memory EWMA, long memory EWMA-DCC, FIGARCH-DCC and Component GARCH-DCC models) with that of short memory conditional volatility models (the short memory EWMA and GARCH-DCC models), using the asset allocation framework of Engle and Colacito (2006). The research reports two main findings. First, for longer horizon forecasts, long memory volatility models generally produce forecasts of the covariance matrix that are statistically more accurate and informative, and economically more useful than those produced by short memory volatility models. Second, the two parsimonious long memory EWMA models outperform the other models – both short memory and long memory – in a majority of cases across all forecast horizons. These results apply to both low and high dimensional covariance matrices with both low and high correlation assets, and are robust to the choice of estimation window. The research then evaluates the application of multivariate long memory conditional volatility models in dynamic asset allocation, applying the volatility timing procedure of Fleming et al. (2001). The research consistently identifies the economic gains from incorporating long memory volatility dynamics in investment decisions. Investors are willing to pay to switch from the static to the dynamic strategies, and especially from the short memory volatility timing to the long memory volatility timing strategies across both short and long investment horizons. Among the long memory conditional volatility models, the two parsimonious long memory EWMA models, again, generally produce the most superior portfolios. When transaction costs are taken into account, the gains from the daily rebalanced dynamic portfolios deteriorate; however, it is still worth implementing the dynamic strategies at lower rebalancing frequencies. The results are robust to estimation error in expected returns, the choice of risk aversion coefficients and the use of a long-only constraint. To control for estimation error in forecasts of the long memory high dimensional covariance matrix, the research develops a dynamic long memory factor (the Orthogonal Factor Long Memory, or OFLM) model by embedding the univariate long memory EWMA model of Zumbach (2006) into an orthogonal factor structure. The factor-structured OFLM model is evaluated against the six above multivariate conditional volatility models in terms of forecast performance and economic benefits. The results suggest that the OFLM model generally produces impressive forecasts over both short and long forecast horizons. In the volatility timing framework, portfolios constructed with the OFLM model consistently dominate the static and other dynamic volatility timing portfolios in all rebalancing frequencies. Particularly, the outperformance of the factor-structured OFLM model to the fully estimated LM-EWMA model confirms the advantage of the factor structure in reducing estimation error. The factor structure also significantly reduces transaction costs, making the dynamic strategies more feasible in practice. The dynamic factor long memory volatility model also consistently produces more superior portfolios than those produced by the traditional unconditional factor and the dynamic factor short memory volatility models.
Harris, Richard D. F.
PhD in Finance