Nestle Value Chain Analysis

10755 Words44 Pages
Developing Robust Asset Allocations1 Working Paper First Version: February 17, 2006 Current Version: April 18, 2006 Thomas M. Idzorek, CFA Director of Research Ibbotson Associates 225 North Michigan Avenue Suite 700 Chicago, Illinois 60601-7676 312-616-1620 (Main) 312-616-0404 (Fax) tidzorek@ibbotson.com Abstract Over the last 50 years, Markowitz’s mean-variance optimization framework has become the asset allocation model of choice. Unfortunately the model often leads to highly concentrated asset allocations, the primary reason that practitioners haven’t fully embraced this Nobel Prize winning idea. Two relatively new techniques that help practitioners develop robust, well-diversified asset allocations are the BlackLitterman model and…show more content…
If the assets exist to help meet a liability, the liability should be considered in the process; 3. Basing one’s decision solely on an asset allocation’s mean and variance is insufficient to base one’s decisions, in a world in which asset class returns are not normally distributed; and, 4. Most investors have multi-period objectives and the mean-variance framework is a single period model. These potential shortcomings are the likely reasons that practitioners have not fully embraced meanvariance optimization. For a number of practitioners, mean-variance optimization creates the illusion of quantitative sophistication; yet, in practice, asset allocations are developed using judgmental, ad hoc approaches. Recent advances significantly improve the quality of typical mean-variance optimizationbased asset allocations that should allow a far wider audience to realize the benefits of the Markowitz paradigm, or at least the intent of the paradigm. In this article, we focus on the first issue: the lack of diversification that can result from traditional meanvariance optimization. We begin with two examples in which traditional mean-variance optimization © 2006 Ibbotson Associates Robust Asset Allocation Page 2 leads to extreme asset allocations. These examples highlight the sensitivity of the output (the asset allocations) to changes in the inputs (the capital market assumptions). We examine the causes and possible solutions to highly concentrated

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