Bridge over ocean
1 May 1996 Financial Analysts Journal Volume 52, Issue 3

Time Diversification: Perspectives from Option Pricing Theory

  1. Craig Merrill
  2. Steven R. Thorley, PhD, CFA

Despite repeated theoretical arguments to the contrary, many investment professionals subscribe to the principle of time diversification. This principle states that equity investments become less risky if held for longer periods of time. We apply option pricing theory to the question of how the investment horizon affects equity risk. Financially engineered securities that guarantee a minimum return allow for greater equity market participation if the investor commits to a longer time horizon. In other words, the fair cost of insuring a minimum return, in terms of foregone market participation, is lower for longer horizons. The lower cost of risk reduction suggests that risk itself is lower, consistent with the pervasive practitioner belief in time diversification.

Read the Complete Article in Financial Analysts Journal Financial Analysts Journal CFA Institute Member Content

We’re using cookies, but you can turn them off in Privacy Settings.  Otherwise, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.  Accepting cookies does not mean that we are collecting personal data. Learn more in our Privacy Policy.