Assessing risk in the Paarl/Berg River region by means of various portfolio diversification models

Maritz, Gerrit (2002-12)

On t.p.: Masters of Agricultural management.

Thesis (MAgricAdmin)--Stellenbosch University, 2002.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The need to take account of risk in agriculture must be part of every decision taken in agriculture. Yet risk is nothing to be too afraid of Risk is a choice rather than a fate. The actions we dare to take, which depend on how free we are to make choices, are what the theory of risk is all about. The task is rather to manage risk effectively, within the capacity of the farmer, business or group in order to withstand adverse outcomes. Some methods of managing risks are feasible for all types of farms. Others are only feasible for certain sizes and types of farms. Therefore, farmers in general need a systematic technique that will enable them to choose an efficient investment strategy from among all feasible strategies. Specifically, given n risky assets (such as the different enterprises in the PaarlIBerg River region), it is essential to seek a diversification strategy which yields a portfolio lying on the efficient frontier. The research question was whether different diversification models (Markowitz diversification model, Single Index Model and the Capital Asset Pricing Model) that are normally applied in capital markets for the construction of optimal diversified portfolios consisting out of different shares, are also applicable on risky portfolios in agriculture comprising different enterprises in the PaarlIBerg River region. The efficient frontier can be seen as the graphical representation of a set of portfolios that maximize expected return for each level of portfolio risk. The Microsoft Excel portfolio optimiser (SOLVER) programme was used to illustrate the investment proportions, expected returns, and standard deviations of the portfolios ofthe efficient frontier. The Single Index Model (SIM) can be used as an alternative to Markowitz diversification model. It drastically reduces the number of parameters needed to be estimated and yields the efficient set relatively easily without the technical difficulties characterising the fullrank solution. However, if the SIM assumptions are in contradiction to the actual data, the simplification of the calculations is achieved at the cost of getting imprecise results. The simplicity of SIM calculations was attained at a cost of constructing a sub-optimal portfolio, which does not lie on the corresponding efficient frontier. The Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) reveals that there is a great deal of systematic risk in relation to the portfolio enclosed in this study. By using the CAPM it is possible to determine which part of the risk the producer can control (non-systematic risk) and which part the producer has no control over (systematic risk). The proportions of systematic risk that can be diversified away are small, relative to the total risk of the Farm Sector Portfolio. The success of these models depends on the efficiency of the market, as weU as a large, up-to-date and reliable data source. Many younger cultivars could not be included in this study, due to the limited availability of data. In the next few years as data become available, it will be possible to construct efficient frontiers out of a wider range of enterprises. Different enterprises and cultivars will increase the number of alternative uses for natural resources in the PaarlIBerg River region through diversification. This will result in more choices for the farmer, and more flexibility in the decision-making process. Without reliable data, the result will be "garbage in, garbage out."

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In elke besluit wat geneem word in landbou moet risiko as 'n faktor in ag geneem word. Tog is risiko nie iets om te vrees nie. Dit is eerder keuse as noodlot. Die stappe wat ons waag om te neem, wat afhang van hoe vry ons is om keuses te maak, is waaroor die teorie van risiko gaan. Die doel van die tesis is om risiko effektief te bestuur binne die vermoëns van die boer om sodoende negatiewe resultate die hoof te bied Sommige metodes van risikobestuur is lewensvatbaar vir alle soorte plase. Ander is slegs lewensvatbaar vir sekere groottes en tipes plase. Daarom benodig boere in die algemeen 'n tegniek wat dit vir hulle moontlik maak om 'n effektiewe beleggingstrategie te kies uit die verskillende uitvoerbare strategiee. Gegewe n as riskante aktiwiteite (soos die verskillende gewasse in die PaarllBergrivierstreek) is dit noodsaaklik om 'n diversifiseringstrategie te vind wat 'n portefeulje sal lewer wat raak aan die effektiewe grens. Die navorsingsvraag was of verskillende diversifiseringsmodelle (Markowitz diversifiseringsmodel (MVC), "Single Index Model" (SIM) en die "Capital Asset Pricing Model" (CAPM)) wat gewoonlik toegepas word in kapitaalmarkte vir die samestelling van optimale gediversifiseerde portefeuljes bestaande uit verskillende aandele, ook van toepassing sal wees op riskante portefeuljes in die landbou in die PaarlJBergrivierstreek, wat verskillende gewasse insluit. Die effektiewe grens kan gesien word as die grafiese voorstelling van 'n stel portefeuljes wat die verwagte winste vir elke vlak van portefeuljerisiko vermeerder. Die Microsoft Excel portefeulje optimeringsprogram (SOLVER) word gebruik om die beleggingsverhoudings, verwagte winste en standaardafwykings van die portefeuljes aan die effektiewe grens te illustreer. Die "Single Index Model" (SIM) kan gebruik word as 'n alternatief vir die Markowitz diversi:tikasiemodel. Dit verminder drasties die getal parameters en lewer maklik die effektiewe reeks, sonder die tegniese probleme wat ondervind word met die oplossing by die Markowitz model. Nietemin, indien die SIM die werklike data weerspreek sal die vereenvoudiging van die berekenings bereik word ten koste van onakurate resultate. Die eenvoud van die SIM is verkry ten koste van die samestelling van 'n suboptimale portfeulje, wat nie aan die ooreenstemmende effektiewe grens lê nie. Die "Capital Asset Pricing Model" (CAPM) wys dat daar baie sistematiese risiko gekoppel is aan die portfeulje ingesluit in hierdie studie. Deur gebruik temaak van die CAPM is dit moontlik om vas te stel watter deel van die risiko (nie-sistematies) die produsent kan beheer en watter deel die produsent nie kan beheer nie (sistematiese risiko). Die verhouding van sistematiese risiko wat weggediversifiseer kan word is klein in verhouding tot die algehele risiko van die boerderysektor portefeulje. Die sukses hang afvan die doeltreffendheid van die mark, sowel as 'n groot tot-op-datum en betroubare bron van data. Baie van die jonger aangeplante kultivars kan nie ingesluit word in hierdie studie nie as gevolg van beperkte data In die volgende paar jaar, soos data beskikbaar word, sal dit moontlik wees om effektiewe grense van 'n wye reeks gewasse saam te stel. Verskillende gewasse en kultivars sal die hoeveelheid alternatiewe gebruike van natuurlike hulpbronne in die PaarllBergrivierstreek vermeerder deur diversifikasie. Dit sal lei tot meer keuses vir die boer en meer buigsaamheid in die besluitnemingsproses. Sonder betroubare data kan betroubate resultate nie verkry word me.

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