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Household portfolio optimization with XTFs? An empirical study using the SHS-base

Andreas Oehler and Hans Philipp Wanger

Research in International Business and Finance, 2020, vol. 51, issue C

Abstract: XTFs are plain-vanilla Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) which replicate a broad, internationally diversified market index. We question, if XTFs can optimize the performance of households’ portfolios when taking multiple relevant asset classes into account, not only stocks. As opposed to most existing studies, we apply representative household portfolio data to estimate households’ portfolios. Households’ portfolios in our sample show similar compositions and can be grouped into one of three stylized portfolio compositions which exhibit asset class concentrations on cash/savings, mutual funds and individual stocks. For each stylized portfolio, we first investigate if an easily investable 60/40 stock/bond XTF portfolio which is risk-adjusted (including (de-)leverage costs) to the risk of the stylized portfolios, achieves higher returns than the stylized portfolios. This is the case for all stylized portfolios, even those with concentrations on cash/savings or mutual funds. Second, we examine risk/return-changes when replacing the entire risky assets of the stylized portfolios with the 60/40 stock/bond XTF portfolio including transaction costs. This leads to return enhancements in all stylized portfolios and particularly in the portfolio with high stock concentrations to risk reductions. Overall, we find that XTFs are generally suitable to optimize the performance of households’ portfolios under consideration of multiple relevant asset classes.

Keywords: XTF; Household portfolios; Multiple asset classes; Portfolio optimization (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D14 G11 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ribaf.2019.101103

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