We propose that the “risk” of a portfolio has three components: variance, skewness, and kurtosis. Whereas most previous papers have focused on how variance is diversified, we use both analysis and simulations to investigate how skewness and kurtosis are diversified when the number of stocks in a well-diversified portfolio is increased. We find that, first, when a portfolio is skewed and fat-tailed, its variance, skewness, and kurtosis are simultaneously reduced as the number of risky assets in the portfolio increases. When the risky assets in a portfolio are moderately correlated, the three components tend to decrease and eventually converge to nonzero values, which define the portfolio's true multidimensional systematic risk and hence allow diversification of its multidimensional nonsystematic risk. Second, the skewness risk of a portfolio tends to decrease more slowly than variance and kurtosis risk, indicating that, among the three, skewness is the hardest to diversify.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Economics and Econometrics