Theoretical and empirical estimates of mean-variance portfolio sensitivity
This paper studies properties of an estimator of mean-variance portfolio weights in a market model with multiple risky assets and a riskless asset. Theoretical formulas for the mean square error are derived in the case when asset excess returns are multivariate normally distributed and serially independent. The sensitivity of the portfolio estimator to errors arising from the estimation of the covariance matrix and the mean vector is quantified. It turns out that the relative contribution of the covariance matrix error depends mainly on the Sharpe ratio of the market portfolio and the sampling frequency of historical data. Theoretical studies are complemented by an investigation of the distribution of portfolio estimator for empirical datasets. An appropriately crafted bootstrapping method is employed to compute the empirical mean square error. Empirical and theoretical estimates are in good agreement, with the empirical values being, in general, higher.