- December 2012
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- We study risk assessment using an optimal portfolio in which the weights are functions of latent factors and firm-specific characteristics (hereafter, diffusion index portfolio). The factors are used to summarize the information contained in a large set of economic data and thus reflect the state of the economy. First, we evaluate the performance of the diffusion index portfolio and compare it to both that of a portfolio in which the weights depend only on firm-specific characteristics and an equally weighted portfolio. We then use value-at-risk, expected shortfall, and downside probability to investigate whether the weights-modeling approach, which is based on factor analysis, helps reduce market risk. Our empirical results clearly indicate that using economic factors together with firm-specific characteristics helps protect investors against market risk.
- portfolio weights modeling; factor analysis; principal components; portfolio performance; value-at-risk; expected shortfall; downside probability