nep-for New Economics Papers
on Forecasting
Issue of 2023‒06‒12
one paper chosen by
Rob J Hyndman
Monash University

  1. Online Ensemble of Models for Optimal Predictive Performance with Applications to Sector Rotation Strategy By Jiaju Miao; Pawel Polak

  1. By: Jiaju Miao; Pawel Polak
    Abstract: Asset-specific factors are commonly used to forecast financial returns and quantify asset-specific risk premia. Using various machine learning models, we demonstrate that the information contained in these factors leads to even larger economic gains in terms of forecasts of sector returns and the measurement of sector-specific risk premia. To capitalize on the strong predictive results of individual models for the performance of different sectors, we develop a novel online ensemble algorithm that learns to optimize predictive performance. The algorithm continuously adapts over time to determine the optimal combination of individual models by solely analyzing their most recent prediction performance. This makes it particularly suited for time series problems, rolling window backtesting procedures, and systems of potentially black-box models. We derive the optimal gain function, express the corresponding regret bounds in terms of the out-of-sample R-squared measure, and derive optimal learning rate for the algorithm. Empirically, the new ensemble outperforms both individual machine learning models and their simple averages in providing better measurements of sector risk premia. Moreover, it allows for performance attribution of different factors across various sectors, without conditioning on a specific model. Finally, by utilizing monthly predictions from our ensemble, we develop a sector rotation strategy that significantly outperforms the market. The strategy remains robust against various financial factors, periods of financial distress, and conservative transaction costs. Notably, the strategy's efficacy persists over time, exhibiting consistent improvement throughout an extended backtesting period and yielding substantial profits during the economic turbulence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Date: 2023–03

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