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Optimal trading without optimal control

Bastien Baldacci, Jerome Benveniste and Gordon Ritter

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Abstract: A hypothetical risk-neutral agent who trades to maximize the expected profit of the next trade will approximately exhibit long-term optimal behavior as long as this agent uses the vector $p = \nabla V (t, x)$ as effective microstructure alphas, where V is the Bellman value function for a smooth relaxation of the problem. Effective microstructure alphas are the steepest-ascent direction of V , equal to the generalized momenta in a dual Hamiltonian formulation. This simple heuristics has wide-ranging practical implications; indeed, most utility-maximization problems that require implementation via discrete limit-order-book markets can be treated by our method.

Date: 2020-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-mst and nep-upt
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