In this paper we investigate the empirical performance of unconditionally efficient portfolios strategies for a number of commonly used predictive variables. These strategies, which optimally utilize asset return predictability in portfolio formation were studied by Hansen and Richard (1987) and Ferson and Siegel (2001). Our criterion is to maximize various ex-post performance measures and we conduct both in-sample as well as out-of-sample analysis. Our analysis allows us to determine the economic value of using different predictor variables and also groups of predictor variables.
Overall we find that the optimal use of conditioning information significantly improves the risk-return tradeoff available to a mean-variance investor relative to fixed weight strategies. These findings are consistent across portfolio efficiency measures such as Sharpe ratios, portfolio variance subject to a mean constraint or portfolio mean subject to a volatility constraint as well as measures of economic value such as switching costs.
In addition we also compare the performance of the unconditionally efficient strategies with conditionally efficient strategies from an investment-based perspective. We find that the performance of the two strategies is quite different due to the differing response of the portfolio weights of the two strategies to conditioning information.
Keywords: Asset pricing, return predictability
Continue reading here.