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The limits of leverage. (English) Zbl 1411.91503

Summary: When trading incurs proportional costs, leverage can scale an asset’s return only up to a maximum multiple, which is sensitive to its volatility and liquidity. In a model with one safe and one risky asset, with constant investment opportunities and proportional costs, we find strategies that maximize long-term returns given average volatility. As leverage increases, rising rebalancing costs imply declining Sharpe ratios. Beyond a critical level, even returns decline. Holding the Sharpe ratio constant, higher asset volatility leads to superior returns through lower costs.

MSC:

91G10 Portfolio theory
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References:

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