# OPTIMIZATION OF INVESTMENT RETURNS WITH N-STEP UTILITY FUNCTIONS

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In this paper, we examine different ways of allocating investments, maximizing and generating optimal wealth of investment returns with N-step utility functions; in an N period setting where the investor maximizes the expected utility of the terminal
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Journal of the Vol. 33, pp. 311-320, 2014Nigerian Mathematical Society c  Nigerian Mathematical Society OPTIMIZATION OF INVESTMENT RETURNS WITHN-STEP UTILITY FUNCTIONS J. T. EGHWERIDO 1 AND T. O. OBILADEABSTRACT. In this paper, we examine diﬀerent ways of allo-cating investments, maximizing and generating optimal wealthof investment returns with N-step utility functions; in an N pe-riod setting where the investor maximizes the expected utility of the terminal wealth in a stochastic market with diﬀerent utilityfunctions. The speciﬁc utility functions considered are negativeexponential, logarithm, square root and power structures as themarket state changes according to a Markov chain. The statesof the market describe the prevailing economic, ﬁnancial, socialand other conditions that aﬀect the deterministic parametersof the models using martingale approach to obtain the optimalsolution. Thus, we determine the optimization strategies for in-vestment returns in situations where investors at diﬀerent utilityfunctions could end up doubling or halving their stake. The per-formance of any utility function is determined by the ratio  q   :  q  ′ of the probability of rising to falling as well as the ratio  p  :  p ′ of the risk neutral probability measure of rising to the falling. Keywords and phrases:  Markov Chain, Negative exponential,Logarithm, Square-root, Power utility functions. 1. INTRODUCTION Portfolio management is a fundamental activity in our day-to-daylife. It is an important activity in our society for households, pen-sion fund managers, as well as for government debt managers. Onehas got a certain amount of money and tries to use it in such a waythat one can draw the maximum possible utility from the results of the corresponding activities.Thus, in simple mathematical formula can be put in any of thefollowing equivalent form a i (1 +  R i ) =  a i x i  (1) a i  =  a i x i 1 +  R i a i R i  =  a i ( x i − 1) Received by the editors January 15 2013; Revised November 11 2013; Accepted:December 13, 2013 1 Corresponding author 311  312 J. T. EGHWERIDO AND T. O. OBILADE R i  =  x i − 1( i= 1, 2, ..., n) where; a i  = amount invested in security  ia i x i = investment returns x i = a non-negative random variable R i = the rate of return from investment  i Here a payment  a i  returns an amount  a i x i  after one period. Therate of return is that value  R i  that makes the present value of thereturn equal to the initial payment. 2. PRELIMINARY Deﬁnition 1:  Utility function is a function that measures in-vestor’s preferences for wealth and the amount of risk they arewilling to undertake in the hope of attaining greater wealth.Thus, a utility function is a twice-diﬀerentiable function of wealthU(w) deﬁned for  w >  0 the ﬁrst derivative  U  ′ ( w )  >  0 and the sec-ond derivative  U  ′′ ( w )  <  0.Markowitz H. (1952) is the pioneered of the mean-variance ap-proach in a one-period decision model. It still has great impor-tance in real life applications, and is widely applied in the riskmanagement departments of banks. Merton (1971) considered asa pioneering point for the continuous-time portfolio management.He used stochastic control method to the asset allocation problem,and expressed optimal portfolio rule in terms of the solution of asecond-order partial diﬀerential equation (PDE). He was to obtainexplicit solution for special examples with the growing applicationof stochastic calculus to ﬁnance from the eighties, an alternativeapproach, the martingale method to portfolio optimization was de-veloped by Pliska (1986), Karatzas eta l. (1987) and Cox and Huang(1989) based on martingale theory and convex optimization. 3. Martingale methods for N-step utility functions Prices of assets depend crucially on their risk as investors typi-cally demand more proﬁt for bearing more uncertainty. Therefore,today’s price of a claim on a risky amount realized tomorrow willgenerally diﬀer from its expected value. Most commonly, investorsare risk-averse and today’s price is below the expectation, remuner-ating those who bear the risk.In a ﬁnancial market where investors are facing uncertainty, thereturn of an investment in assets is in general not known. A stock  OPTIMIZATION OF INVESTMENT RETURNS ... 313 yield depends on the resale price and the dividends. How to choosebetween several possible investments? In order to determine de-sirable strategies in an uncertain context, the preferences of theinvestor should be made explicit, and this is usually done in termsof expected utility criterion.The pay-oﬀ for N period model,  Y  i  at time step  i  is given by Y  i  = 2 2( n − i ) with probability  2 ni  (1 −  p ) 2 n − i  p i ;  i  = 0 , 1 ,..., 2 n  for an even stepor Y  i  = 2 2( n − i ) − 1 with probability  2 n − 1 i  (1 −  p ) 2 n − i − 1  p i ;  i  = 0 ,..., 2 n − 1 for anodd step and for initial capital  x  with probability of increase anddecrease  q   and  p  respectively and risk-neutral probability measure q  ′ .The dynamic optimization problem above can be represented as astatic optimization problem over terminal wealth: V  0 ( x ) = sup H  E   [ U  ( H  )] (2)subject to E  [ H  ] Q =  x  (3)where  H   denotes state,  U   the utility function and  Q  risk neutralprobability.Suppose we adapt a utility function of the Negative exponentialutility function such that U   ( h i ) = − e − γh i (4)The utility function compares to a constant absolute risk aversionsituation where  γ   is the error term.The expected value  E  [ U  ( H  )] for even time step  L e  is given as L e  = − 2 n  i =0  2 ni  (1 −  p ) 2 n − i  p i e − γh i (5)subject to 2 n  i =0  2 ni  1 −  p ′  2 n − i  p ′ i h i  =  x  (6)  314 J. T. EGHWERIDO AND T. O. OBILADE i  = 0 ,..., 2 n ; and  p  +  q   = 1 and  p ′ +  q  ′ = 1; where  q  ′ is therisk-neutral probability given as q  ′ = (1 +  R ) S  − S  d S  u − S  d  (7)The initial stock price  S   can go either up to  S  u or down to  S  d . If the interest rate is  R >  (0), we note that  S  d ≤ (1 +  R ) S   ≤ S  u The solution to our problem lies in maximizing  L e , the presentwealth subject to the constraint, the terminal wealth. Adoptingthe Lagrangian method strategy, we diﬀerentiate  L  where L  = − 2 n  i =0  2 ni  (1 −  p ) 2 n − i  p i e − γh i − λ   2 n  i =0  2 ni  1 −  p ′  2 n − i  p ′ i h i − x   (8) and equating to zero, we have δLδh i =  γ   2 ni  (1 −  p ) 2 n − i  p i e − γh i − λ  2 ni  1 −  p ′  2 n − i  p ′ i = 0(9) e − γh i =  λγ   1 −  p ′ 1 −  p  2 n − i   p ′  p  i λ  =  γe − γh i  1 −  p 1 −  p ′  2 n − i   p p ′  i λ  =  γe − γh i +1  1 −  p 1 −  p ′  2 n − i − 1   p p ′  i +1 e − γh i +1 =  e − γh i  1 −  p 1 −  p ′   p ′  p  e − γh 1 =  e − γh 0  1 −  p 1 −  p ′   p ′  p  e − γh 2 =  e − γh 0  1 −  p 1 −  p ′  2   p ′  p  2 e − γh 2 n =  e − γh 0  1 −  p 1 −  p ′  2 n   p ′  p  2 n . Thus, e − γh i =   p ′ (1 −  p )  p (1 −  p ′ )  i e − γh 0 e − γh i + γh 0 =   p ′ (1 −  p )  p (1 −  p ′ )  i .  OPTIMIZATION OF INVESTMENT RETURNS ... 315 Taking the logarithm of both sides and solving for  h i , we have h i  =  h 0  + 1 γ log   p (1 −  p ′ )  p ′ (1 −  p )  i .  (10)But diﬀerentiating  L  w.r.t.  λ  and equating to zero, we have δLδλ  = 2 n  i =0  2 ni  (1 −  p ′ ) 2 n − i  p ′ i h i − x  = 0 .  (11)Substituting for  h i  in Equation 11, we have 2 n  i =0  2 ni  (1 −  p ′ ) 2 n − i  p ′ i  h 0  + 1 γ log   p (1 −  p ′ )  p ′ (1 −  p )  i  − x  = 0 . On simplifying, it is easy to see that h 0  =  x  + 2 np ′ γ  log   p ′ (1 −  p )  p (1 −  p ′ )   (12)Clearly, we have h ∗ i  =  x + 2 np ′ γ  log   p ′ (1 −  p )  p (1 −  p ′ )  +  iγ log   p (1 −  p ′ )  p ′ (1 −  p )   (13)Thus, the return on investment is given by e − γh ∗ i e − γx  =   p (1 −  p ′ )  p ′ (1 −  p )  2 np ′ − i (14)The Equation (13) gives the  h i  corresponding to the exponentialutility function for particular wealth  x , and probabilities  p  and  p ′ for a speciﬁc security. Thus,  γ   =  − U  ′′ ( i ) U  ′ ( i )  is guarantee to producethe maximal terminal wealth if the utility function is assumed tobe negative exponential.For the choice of a Logarithm utility function  U  ( h i ) = ln h i , onapplication of the martingale method result in an optimal wealthgiven by h ∗ i  =  x   p p ′  i  1 −  p 1 −  p ′  2 n − i .  (15)Hence, the ratio of   h ∗ i  to  x  for an even N-step is given as  h ∗ i x  12 =   p p ′  i  1 −  p 1 −  p ′  2 n − i (16)

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