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Dependence Modeling

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Portfolio selection based on graphs: Does it align with Markowitz-optimal portfolios?

Amelie Hüttner
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  • Technical University of Munich, Chair of Mathematical Finance, Parkring 11, D- 85748 Garching, Germany
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/ Jan-Frederik Mai / Stefano Mineo
Published Online: 2018-05-24 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/demo-2018-0004


Some empirical studies suggest that the computation of certain graph structures from a (large) historical correlation matrix can be helpful in portfolio selection. In particular, a repeated finding is that information about the portfolio weights in the minimum variance portfolio (MVP) from classical Markowitz theory can be inferred from measurements of centrality in such graph structures. The present article compares the two concepts from a purely algebraic perspective. It is demonstrated that this heuristic relationship between graph centrality and the MVP does not originate from a structural similarity between the two portfolio selection mechanisms, but instead is due to specific features of observed correlation matrices. This means that empirically found relations between both concepts depend critically on the underlying historical data. Repeated empirical evidence for a strong relationship is hence shown to constitute a stylized fact of financial return time series.

Keywords : Portfolio selection; correlation matrix; minimum spanning tree; network centrality; Markowitz

MSC 2010: 91G10; 62H20

About the article

Received: 2017-12-11

Accepted: 2018-03-23

Published Online: 2018-05-24

Citation Information: Dependence Modeling, Volume 6, Issue 1, Pages 63–87, ISSN (Online) 2300-2298, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/demo-2018-0004.

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© 2018 Amelie Hüttner, published by De Gruyter. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

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