Implications of long-run risk for asset allocation decisions

  • Doron Avramov Doron Avramov
  • Scott Cederburg Scott Cederburg

This paper proposes a structural approach to long-horizon asset allocation. In particular, the investor draws inferences about asset returns from a vector autoregression (VAR) with economic restrictions on the intercept, slope, and covariance matrix implied by the long-run risk model of Bansal and Yaron (2004). Comparing the optimal allocations of investors using the longrun risk VAR versus an unrestricted reduced-form VAR reveals stark differences in portfoliostrategies. Long-run risk investors are quite conservative relative to reduced-form investors due to intertemporal hedging concerns. Despite the differing strategies, both investors achievesuccess in timing the market. The gains of the long-run risk investor appear to arise from his ability to avoid exposure to large negative events, while the reduced-form investor better capitalizes on periods of high average returns.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.


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