On the Feasibility of Portfolio Optimization under Expected Shortfall

Stéfano Ciliberti 1, Imre Kondor 2, Marc Mézard 1

Quantitative Finance 7 (2007) 389-396

We address the problem of portfolio optimization under the simplest coherent risk measure, i.e. the expected shortfall. As it is well known, one can map this problem into a linear programming setting. For some values of the external parameters, when the available time series is too short, the portfolio optimization is ill posed because it leads to unbounded positions, infinitely short on some assets and infinitely long on some others. As first observed by Kondor and coworkers, this phenomenon is actually a phase transition. We investigate the nature of this transition by means of a replica approach.

  • 1. Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Modèles Statistiques (LPTMS),
    CNRS : UMR8626 – Université Paris XI - Paris Sud
  • 2. Collegium Bupadest,
    Collegium Budapest