Factor investing

Pre-Announcement Returns

26.August 2020

Earnings announcement days are really important dates in a usual yearly corporate routine. The stock market usually reacts sharply on earnings announcement news and stocks on average earn statistically significant return excess of the market over the short window centred around the announcements. But how does the movement of stocks look before earnings announcement? The recent research paper written by Gao, Hu, and Zhang analyzes price action before and after earnings announcement and shows that a majority of the announcement month premium is realized during the pre-announcement period. Stocks with higher levels of uncertainty (stocks are sorted based on their option implied volatilities) experience larger pre-announcement returns and more uncertainty resolution during the pre-announcement period…

Authors: Gao, Chao and Hu, Grace Xing and Zhang, Xiaoyan.

Title: Uncertainty Resolution Before Earnings Announcements

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Multi-Asset Skewness Trading Strategy

19.August 2020

The best course of action for every quant researcher is to try to fundamentally understand anomalies and explore their functioning besides the original scope of the academic research papers. The goal of this article was to look for inspiration and further explore the Skewness affect – the tendency of assets with the lowest skewness to outperform assets with the highest skewness. It seems that this anomaly is present not only in commodities but also in currencies, fixed income and equities. Trading strategy that exploits the effect of skewness in the multi-asset setting would earn an annual return of 7.67% when leveraged to the 15% volatility.

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Implied Equity Duration as a Measure of Pandemic Shutdown Risk

14.August 2020

Some companies have relatively more of their value in near-term cash flow (for ex. General Motors Corporation). Others (for ex. Tesla), are growth stocks, with a greater proportion of their market value based on long-term expected future cash flow. It seems that coronavirus pandemic has hit mainly the first group, the “low equity duration” companies. A new academic research paper written by Dechow, Erhard, Sloan, and Soliman explains how the equity duration factor can be used to assess how are companies exposed to short-term unexpected macroeconomic events (like COVID-19 pandemic), and how equity duration sensitivity can also explain relative underperformance of value vs growth stocks during the last bear market.

Authors: Dechow, Patricia and Erhard, Ryan and Sloan, Richard G. and Soliman, Mark T.

Title: Implied Equity Duration: A Measure of Pandemic Shutdown Risk

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The Effectivity of Selected Crisis Hedge Strategies

30.July 2020

During past months we made a set of articles analyzing the performance of equity factors and selected systematic strategies during coronavirus crisis. These articles were short-ranged with data only from the start of the year 2020, which is enough for the purpose of the quick blog posts, but very short-sighted to see the nature of these strategies. Therefore, we expanded the time range by 20 years. For a better understanding of hedge possibilities of these strategies, we have added a comparison to essential safe-haven assets, not only to equities.

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ESG Scores and Price Momentum Are More Than Compatible

16.July 2020

What will happen if we mix ESG scoring with price momentum? Can we improve simple ESG investing strategy?

The pure price momentum can be combined with ESG scores using a Knapsack algorithm. Knapsack algorithm is a well-known mathematical problem of optimization, and in the case of momentum and ESG, can be used to make the momentum portfolios significantly more responsible, with lower volatility and better risk-adjusted return. The second option is to make the ESG portfolio substantially more profitable by using Knapsack algorithm to construct high ESG portfolio with large momentum. The approach resulted in a strategy with high ESG score and compared to pure momentum or momentum-ESG strategy, with significantly reduced volatility. Therefore, the ESG-momentum strategy has the best risk-adjusted return, the lowest drawdown, the lowest volatility and the most consistent returns.

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The Risk in Equity Risk Factors

9.July 2020

The bear markets were and surely would be present in the equities in the future. While many fear them, experienced investors accept that the growth of the equity market cannot be constant and that inherent equity risk often manifests as a painful market drawdown. When someone designs a strategy, it is a general practice to check its performance during such downturns. Therefore, we can recommend an interesting novel research paper by Paul Geertsema and Helen Lu. The selected paper analyzes the risk of the most common equity factors and plots their over- or under-performance during multiple crisis periods since the Vietnam war until the COVID-19.

Authors: Paul Geertsema, Helen Lu

Title: The Risk in Risk Factors

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