Barbara Ostdiek

Barbara Ostdiek is the Senior Associate Dean of Degree Programs and Associate Professor of Finance at Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business. A member of the Jones School faculty since 1994, Ostdiek has taught a variety of courses across all of the degree programs, most recently Portfolio Management and Economic Environment of Business, and she served for several years as the academic director of the El Paso Corporation Finance Center. Ostdiek received the Jones Graduate School Excellence in Teaching Award in 2001, 2004 and 2009. Her research, which focuses on investments and asset pricing, includes articles addressing characteristics-based investment strategies, optimal portfolio formation, and information flow and volatility within and across markets. Ostdiek publishes in top academic journals including the Journal of Finance, the Journal of Financial Economics, and the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis. Ostdiek serves as audit committee chair on the board of trustees for the USAA Investment Management Company, is an independent member of Salient Partners Index Committee, and serves on the Academic Board of Alternative Investments Forum. She is a member of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo investment committee and serves on the board of directors of Musiqa. Ostdiek earned her B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of Nebraska in 1986 and her Ph.D. in finance from Duke University in 1994.

Teaching Interests:

  • Portfolio formation
  • Information and market linkages
  • Volatility modeling

Research Interests:

Professor Ostdiek's research, focusing on volatility and information flow, indicates that informational market linkages can be quite strong, that volatility is predictable, and that modeling cross-market linkages and volatility dynamics has economic value for market participants. In recent work on active trading strategies, Barbara demonstrates that simple timing strategies based on naïve estimates of risk and return add value over the equally-weighted “1/N” portfolio. This research indicates that reliance on ad hoc portfolio diversification is not optimal and that past risk and return dynamics can be exploited for valuable information regarding portfolio rebalancing. Research papers are available at SSRN:


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