OR Spectrum

, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 761–786 | Cite as

Data-driven portfolio management with quantile constraints

Regular Article


We investigate an iterative, data-driven approximation to a problem where the investor seeks to maximize the expected return of her portfolio subject to a quantile constraint, given historical realizations of the stock returns. The approach, which was developed independently from Calafiore (SIAM J Optim 20:3427–3464 2010) but uses a similar idea, involves solving a series of linear programming problems and thus can be solved quickly for problems of large scale. We compare its performance to that of methods commonly used in the finance literature, such as fitting a Gaussian distribution to the returns (Keisler, Decision Anal 1:177–189 2004; Rachev et al. Advanced stochastic models, risk assessment and portfolio optimization: the ideal risk, uncertainty and performance measures, Wiley, New York 2008). We also analyze the resulting efficient frontier and extend our approach to the case where portfolio risk is measured by the inter-quartile range of its return. Our main contribution is in the detail of the implementation, i.e., the choice of the constraints to be generated in the master problem, as well as the numerical simulations and empirical tests, and the application to the inter-quartile range as a risk measure.


Data-driven optimization Quantile constraints Iterative algorithm 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Amazon.comSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Industrial and Systems EngineeringLehigh UniversityBethlehemUSA

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