Intelligent agents are often used in professional portfolio management. The use of intelligent agents in personal retirement portfolio management is not investigated in the past. In this research, we consider a two-asset personal retirement portfolio and propose several reinforcement learning agents for trading portfolio assets. In particular, we design an on-policy SARSA (λ) and an off-policy Q(λ) discrete state and discrete action agents that maximize either portfolio returns or differential Sharpe ratios. Additionally, we design a temporal-difference learning, TD(λ), agent that uses a linear valuation function in discrete state and continuous action settings. Using two different two-asset portfolios, the first asset being the S&P 500 Index and the second asset being either a broad bond market index or a 10-year U.S. Treasury note (T-note), we test the performance of different agents on different holdout (test) samples. The results of our experiments indicate that the high-learning frequency (i.e., adaptive learning) TD(λ) agent consistently beats both the single asset stock and bond cumulative returns by a significant margin.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Computer Science Applications
- Artificial Intelligence