The Role of Cross-Sectional Dispersion in Active Portfolio Management
Gorman, Larry R.;Sapra, Steven G.;Weigand, Robert A.
PublisherWashburn University, School of Business
MetadataShow full item record
We show that relaxing one of modern portfolio theory’s standard modeling assumptions – that stock returns are uncorrelated – leads to the result that cross-sectional dispersion replaces time-series volatility in many of the key technical expressions in the theory of active portfolio management. Cross-sectional dispersion is shown to be the relevant volatility variable in the derivation of the set of optimal active portfolio weights, and the appropriate scaling factor in the formulation of a manager’s set of expected returns. Additionally, we show that mis-estimation of cross-sectional dispersion can have significant adverse affects on investor utility. Accurate forecast of both cross-sectional dispersion and manager skill are essential to building high –performance portfolios that meet ex ante risk and expected return expectations.