Continuous-time mean-variance portfolio selection with bankruptcy prohibition. (English) Zbl 1153.91466

Summary: A continuous-time mean-variance portfolio selection problem is studied where all the market coefficients are random and the wealth process under any admissible trading strategy is not allowed to be below zero at any time. The trading strategy under consideration is defined in terms of the dollar amounts, rather than the proportions of wealth, allocated in individual stocks. The problem is completely solved using a decomposition approach. Specifically, a (constrained) variance minimizing problem is formulated and its feasibility is characterized. Then, after a system of equations for two Lagrange multipliers is solved, variance minimizing portfolios are derived as the replicating portfolios of some contingent claims, and the variance minimizing frontier is obtained. Finally, the efficient frontier is identified as an appropriate portion of the variance minimizing frontier after the monotonicity of the minimum variance on the expected terminal wealth over this portion is proved and all the efficient portfolios are found. In the special case where the market coefficients are deterministic, efficient portfolios are explicitly expressed as feedback of the current wealth, and the efficient frontier is represented by parameterized equations. Our results indicate that the efficient policy for a mean-variance investor is simply to purchase a European put option that is chosen, according to his or her risk preferences, from a particular class of options.


91G10 Portfolio theory
93E20 Optimal stochastic control
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