Optimal Option Portfolio Strategies
Options should play an important role in asset allocation. They allow for kernel spanning and provide access to additional (priced) risk factors such as stochastic volatility and negative jumps. Unfortunately, traditional methods of asset allocation (e.g. mean-variance optimization) are not adequate for options because the distribution of returns is non-normal and the short sample of option returns available makes it difficult to estimate the distribution. We propose a method to optimize option portfolios that solves these limitations. An out-of-sample exercise is performed and we show that, even when transaction costs are incorporated, our portfolio strategy delivers an annualized Sharpe ratio of 0.59 between January 1996 and September 2008.