Momentum in stocks

Factor Trends and Cycles

30.May 2023

Bearish trends or deep corrections in international equity markets starting in 2022 and rising interest rates worldwide brought investors’ attention back to not only once-proclaimed dead factor investing. From long-run and short run, during different market cycles, different factors behave differently. What’s fortunate is that it is pretty predictable to some extent. Andrew Ang, Head of Factor Investing Strategies at BlackRock, in his Trends and Cycles of Style Factors in the 20th and 21st Centuries (2022), used Hodrick-Prescott (HP) filter and spectral analysis to investigate different models to draw some general conclusions on most-widely used factors. We will take a look at a few of quite the most interesting ones of them.

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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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Impact of Dataset Selection on the Performance of Trading Strategies

14.November 2022

It would be great if the investment factors and trading strategies worked all around the world without change and under all circumstances. But, unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. Some of the strategies are market-specific, as shown in this short analysis. The Chinese market has its own specifics, mainly higher representation of retail investors and lower efficiency. And it’s not alone; countless strategies work just in cryptocurrencies, selected futures, or some other derivatives markets. So, what’s the takeaway? Simple, it’s really important to understand that each anomaly is linked to the underlying dataset and market structure, and we need to account for it in our backtesting process.

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Nuclear Threats and Factor Performance – Takeaway for Russia-Ukraine Conflict

31.March 2022

The Russian invasion of Ukraine and its repercussions continue to occupy front pages all around the world. While using nuclear forces in war is probably a red line for all of the mature world, there is still possible to use nuclear weapons for blackmailing. What will be the impact of such an event on financial markets? It’s not easy to determine, but we tried to identify multiple events in the past which were also slightly unexpected and carried an indication of nuclear threat and then analyzed their impact on financial markets.

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Out-of-sample Dataset Before the “Sample”: Pervasive Anomalies Before 1926

30.November 2021

Data are the key to systematic investing/trading strategies. The hypotheses testing, risk or return evaluations, correlations, and factor loadings rely on past data and backtests. With an increasing speed of publication in finance, critiques of quantitative strategies have emerged. Strategies seem to decay in alpha, post-publication returns tend to be lower, and many strategies become insignificant once rigorously tested (in or out-of-sample). Moreover, some might even appear profitable purely by chance and the repetitive examination of the same dataset, such as CRSP stocks after 1963. 

Is there any solution to overcome these limitations? Partially, the design of the novel machine learning strategies consisting of training, validation, and testing sets might help. Perhaps the most crucial part of such a scheme is the usage of the purely out-of-sample dataset. In this regard, the novel research by Baltussen et al. (2021) provides several valuable findings for the most recognized factors. The authors constructed a database of U.S. stocks, including dividends and market caps for 1488 major stocks from 1866 to 1926. The sample can be described as the pre-CRSP period, including independent, pre-publication, and “out-of-sample” data that can be a perfect test for the factors utilized today. 

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How to Combine Different Momentum Strategies

15.November 2021

Today we will again talk more about the portfolio management theory, and we will focus on techniques for combining quantitative strategies into one multi-strategy portfolio. So, let’s imagine we already have a set of profitable investment strategies, and we need to combine them. The goal of such “strategy allocation” usually is to achieve the best risk-adjusted return possible. There is no single correct solution to this task, but there are a few methods that we can try.

The “appropriate combination” highly depends on the type of strategies we are about to combine. Are we combining equity and bond strategies together? Are we combining equity strategies, with each one having an entirely different logic? Or do we rather need to assign weights to strategies that are similar in nature yet still different? We will focus this article on the last option – combining similar yet different strategies.

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