Factor investing

How to Rebalance Smart Beta Strategies Smarter

17.May 2023

The topic of Smart-Beta is widely recognized, and we cover, monitor, and inform about its developments. The analyzed piece is about the importance of the correct rebalancing strategy and is kindly provided by Research Affiliates. According to a recent research article, investors should re-consider rebalancing with turnover constraint only those stocks that have the strongest signal. Prioritizing trades in stocks that are the farthest removed from the portfolio selection threshold is likely to minimize the expected need for additional trading.

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Comparison of Commodity Momentum Strategy in the U.S. and Chinese Markets

12.May 2023

The commodity momentum strategy is a crucial driving force behind Commodity Trading Advisor (CTA) strategies, as it capitalizes on the persistence of price trends in various commodity markets. By identifying and exploiting these trends, CTAs can achieve robust returns and diversification benefits. In their new paper, John Hua FAN and Xiao QIAO (February 2023) present their perspective and understanding of cross-country and cross-sector influences on the behavior of commodity momentum beyond established commodity fundamentals focusing on U.S. and China markets.

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Price Momentum or Factor Momentum: What Leads What?

27.April 2023

Continuing our research of different factor allocations and models, we will look at the evergreen momentum effect closer. Cakici, Fieberg, Metko, and Zaremba’s (January 2023) paper contributes to the never-ending debate of the chicken-or-egg problem of what comes first: Does the stock price momentum originate from the factor momentum? The study reexamined the relationship between the factor and price momentum on an extensive sample of 95 years of data from 51 countries. And what are the main takeaways? Let’s find out …

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Evaluating Factor Models in China

21.April 2023

Today, we will evaluate some specifics that are akin to the now second-largest market in the world – China. The abundance of “shell companies” creates a problem when researchers try to uncover sources of alpha in the Chinese market. We present recent research by Zhiyong Li and Xiao Rao (2022) that proposes a new alternative filter, which excludes the stocks with a high estimated shell probability when constructing equity factor models.

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Which Factors Drive the Hedge Fund Returns: A Machine Learning Approach

10.March 2023

Arbitrage is a central concept in finance. It is defined as simultaneous long and short positions in similar assets to exploit mispricing. Hedge funds experienced fast growth over the past three decades, as real-world arbitrageurs as a group. As they increasingly influence the financial market, it is important to understand the economic drivers of hedge fund returns. Therefore we would like to present a paper dealing with the development of a parsimonious factor model, based on anomalies, to explain hedge fund returns.

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Time Series Variation in the Factor Zoo

28.February 2023

Factor investing and detailed allocation according to different sets of factors are lively researched topics with many unanswered and open questions. Many views are often conflicting and from both radical sides — on one, that only a few factors should be necessary to explain the cross-section of mean returns, which is attractive, especially because of its simplicity; on the other, that you can use complex (authors examine the 161 “clear predictors” and 44 “likely predictors”) combinations of factors from less known and unorthodox models, but falling into dangerous and often unexamined “factor zoo” with many undesirable, unexamined and non-controllable outcomes. A huge gap is often seen in finance between the theory of academia and practical applications (by PMs [portfolio managers]), and so is especially present in this one. Let’s take a look at what the complexity of factors does for various equities pricing models.

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