Up: 3:3-4

Fast recursive portfolio optimization

Laurence Irlicht

Algorithmic Finance (2014), 3:3-4, 173-188
DOI: 10.3233/AF-140038

Published: Abstract, PDF.
Archived: SSRN.


Institutional equity portfolios are typically constructed via taking expected stock returns and then applying the computationally expensive processes of covariance matrix estimation and mean-variance optimization. Unfortunately, these computational costs make it prohibitive to comprehensively backtest and tune higher frequency strategies over long histories. In this paper, we introduce a recursive algorithm which significantly lowers the computational cost of calculating the covariance matrix and its inverse as well as an iterative heuristic which provides a very fast approximation to mean-variance optimization. Together, these techniques cut backtesting time to a fraction of that of standard techniques. Where possible, the additional step of caching pre-calculated covariance matrices, can result in overall backtesting speeds up to orders of magnitude faster than the standard methods. We demonstrate the efficacy of our approach by selecting a prediction strategy in a fraction of the time taken by standard methods.

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University of Bridgeport

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Kent State University

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Kenneth J. Arrow

Stanford University

Herman Chernoff

Harvard University

David S. Johnson

AT&T Labs Research

Leonid Levin

Boston University

Myron Scholes

Stanford University

Michael Sipser

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Richard Thaler

University of Chicago

Stephen Wolfram

Wolfram Research

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Peter Bossaerts

California Institute of Technology

Emanuel Derman

Columbia University

Ming-Yang Kao

Northwestern University

Pete Kyle

University of Maryland

David Leinweber

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Richard J. Lipton

Georgia Tech

Avi Silberschatz

Yale University

Robert Webb

University of Virginia

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Giovanni Barone-Adesi

University of Lugano

Bruce Lehmann

University of California, San Diego

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