Passive and Active Currency Portfolio Optimisation
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
This thesis examines the performance of currency-only portfolios with different strategies, in out-of-sample analysis. I first examine a number of passive portfolio strategies into currency market in out-of-sample analysis. The strategies I applied in this chapter include sample-based mean-variance portfolio and its extension, minimum variance portfolio, and equally-weighted risk contribution model. Moreover, I consider GDP portfolio and Trade portfolio as market value portfolio for currency market. With naïve portfolio, there are 12 different asset allocation models. In my out-of-sample analysis, naïve portfolio performs reasonably well among all 12 portfolios, and transaction cost does not seriously affect the results prior to transaction cost analysis. The results are robust across different estimation windows and perspectives of investors from different countries. Next, more portfolio strategies are examined to compare with naïve portfolio in currency market. The first portfolio strategy called ‘optimal constrained portfolio’ in this chapter is derived from the idea of maximising the quadratic utility function. In addition, the timing strategies, a set of simple active portfolio strategies, are also considered. In my out-of-sample analysis with rolling sample approach, naïve portfolio can be beaten by all the strategies discussed in this chapter. In chapter six, the characteristics of currency are exploited to construct a currency only portfolio. Firstly, the pre-sample test proves that the characteristics, both fundamental and financial, are relevant to the portfolio construction. I then examine the performance of parametric portfolio policies. The results show that while fundamental characteristics can bring investor benefits of active portfolio management, financial characteristics cannot. Moreover, I find the relationship between characteristics of currency and weights of optimal portfolio. The overall results show that currencies can be thought of as an asset in their own right to construct optimal portfolios, which have better performance than naïve portfolio, if suitable strategies are used. In addition, ‘lesser’ currencies, indeed, bring significant benefits to the investors.
PhD in Finance