Optimal investment strategy to minimize the probability of lifetime ruin. (English) Zbl 1085.60514

Summary: I study the problem of how individuals should invest their wealth in a risky financial market to minimize the probability that they outlive their wealth, also known as the probability of lifetime ruin. Specifically, I determine the optimal investment strategy of an individual who targets a given rate of consumption and seeks to minimize the probability of lifetime ruin. Two forms of the consumption function are considered: (1) The individual consumes at a constant (real) dollar rate, and (2) the individual consumes a constant proportion of his or her wealth. The first is arguably more realistic, but the second has a close connection with optimal consumption in Merton’s model of optimal consumption and investment under power utility.
For constant force of mortality, I determine (a) the probability that individuals outlive their wealth if they follow the optimal investment strategy; (b) the corresponding optimal investment rule that tells individuals how much money to invest in the risky asset for a given wealth level; (c) comparative statics for the functions in (a) and (b); (d) the distribution of the time of lifetime ruin, given that ruin occurs; and (e) the distribution of bequest, given that ruin does not occur. I also include numerical examples to illustrate how the formulas developed in this paper might be applied


60H30 Applications of stochastic analysis (to PDEs, etc.)
60H10 Stochastic ordinary differential equations (aspects of stochastic analysis)
91B30 Risk theory, insurance (MSC2010)
91G10 Portfolio theory
Full Text: DOI


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