The dynamic interaction of speculation and diversification

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Applied Mathematical Finance, 2005, 12 (1), pp. 17 - 52
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A discrete time model of a financial market is developed, in which heterogeneous interacting groups of agents allocate their wealth between two risky assets and a riskless asset. In each period each group formulates its demand for the risky assets and the risk-free asset according to myopic mean-variance maximizazion. The market consists of two types of agents: fundamentalists, who hold an estimate of the fundamental values of the risky assets and whose demand for each asset is a function of the deviation of the current price from the fundamental, and chartists, a group basing their trading decisions on an analysis of past returns. The time evolution of the prices is modelled by assuming the existence of a market maker, who sets excess demand of each asset to zero at the end of each trading period by taking an offsetting long or short position, and who announces the next period prices as functions of the excess demand for each asset and with a view to long-run market stability. The model is reduced to a seven-dimensional nonlinear discrete-time dynamical system, that describes the time evolution of prices and agents' beliefs about expected returns, variances and correlation. The unique steady state of the model is determined and the local asymptotic stability of the equilibrium is analysed, as a function of the key parameters that characterize agents' behaviour. In particular it is shown that when chartists update their expectations sufficiently fast, then the stability of the equilibrium is lost through a supercritical Neimark-Hopf bifurcation, and self-sustained price fluctuations along an attracting limit cycle appear in one or both markets. Global analysis is also performed, by using numerical techniques, in order to understand the role played by the chartists' behaviour in the transition to a regime characterized by irregular oscillatory motion and coexistence of attractors. It is also shown how changes occurring in one market may affect the price dynamics of the alternative risky asset, as a consequence of the dynamic updating of agents' portfolios. © 2005 Taylor & Francis Group Ltd.
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