A Comparison of Global Factor Models

4.March 2020

Mirror, mirror on the wall, what’s the best factor model of them all? We at Quantpedia are probably not the only one asking this question. A lot of competing factor models are described in the academic literature and used in practice. That’s the reason why we consider a new research paper written by Matthias Hanauer really valuable. He compared several commonly employed factor models across non-U.S. developed and emerging market countries and answered the question from the beginning of this paragraph. Which model seems the winner? The six-factor model proposed in Barillas et al. (2019) that substitutes the classic value factor in the Fama and French (2018) six-factor model for a monthly updated value factor …

Authors: Hanauer

Title: A Comparison of Global Factor Models

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Alternative Fair-Value Models for Currency Value Strategy

17.January 2020

The idea of buying an investment asset for a lower price than a fair-value is the cornerstone of value factor strategies. Various value strategies were popularized by famous investor Benjamin Graham (and his successors like Warren Buffett) and were firstly employed in the stock market. This idea of looking for investment opportunities that can be bought cheaply can also be applied in currency markets – Currency Value Factor strategy. There is, however, one catch – an investor must know the fair-value exchange rate for currencies. The most popular equilibrium exchange rate model used for this purpose is based on PPP (purchasing power parity). A new research paper written by Ca’ Zorzi, Cap, Mijakovic, and Rubaszek analyzes two additional models – Behavioral Equilibrium Exchange Rate (BEER) and the Macroeconomic Balance (MB) approach to assess which model has the best forecasting power.

Authors: Ca’ Zorzi, Cap, Mijakovic, Rubaszek

Title: The Predictive Power of Equilibrium Exchange Rate Models

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Quant’s Look on ESG Investing Strategies

13.December 2019

ESG Investing (sometimes called Socially Responsible Investing) is becoming a current trend, and its proponents characterize it as a modern, sustainable, and responsible way of investing. Some people love it, others see it as just another fad that will soon be forgotten. We at Quantpedia have decided to immerse in academic research related to this trend to understand it better. How are ESG scores measured? What are the common problems in ESG data? Are there any systematic ESG factor strategies that offer outperformance? These are some of the areas we wanted to explore, and we invite you on this journey with us …

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What Affects the Correlation Between Stocks and Bonds

26.August 2019

The correlation between bonds and stocks is essential information for asset allocation decisions; therefore understanding its macro-economic drivers is very valuable for all investors. Stocks-bonds correlation isn’t stable, as we have experienced in the last 30 years, as the correlation, which was positive until the end of the 1990s, changed sign at the turn of the century. Research paper written by Marcello Pericoli sheds more light on this issue and shows that the correlation is primarily influenced by the uncertainty about inflation and real interest rates as well as by co-movement between inflation, real interest rates and dividend growth.

Author: Pericoli

Title: Macroeconomics Determinants of the Correlation Between Stocks and Bonds

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Metcalfe’s Law in Bitcoin

12.August 2019

Cryptocurrencies are a new asset class, and researchers have just started to understand better fundamental forces which are behind their price action. A new research paper shows that Bitcoin’s price can be modeled by Metcalfe’s Law. Bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies) are in this characteristic very similar to Facebook as their value depends on the number of active users – network size

Authors: Peterson

Title: Bitcoin Spreads Like a Virus

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Factor Investing in Currency Markets

26.July 2019

A new research paper related to multiple currency strategies:

#5 – FX Carry Trade
#8 – Currency Momentum Factor
#9 – Currency Value Factor – PPP Strategy

Authors: Baku, Fortes, Herve, Lezmi, Malongo, Roncalli, Xu

Title: Factor Investing in Currency Markets: Does it Make Sense?



The concept of factor investing emerged at the end of the 2000s and has completely changed the landscape of equity investing. Today, institutional investors structure their strategic asset allocation around five risk factors: size, value, low beta, momentum and quality. This approach has been extended to multi-asset portfolios and is known as the alternative risk premia model. This framework recognizes that the construction of diversified portfolios cannot only be reduced to the allocation policy between asset classes, such as stocks and bonds. Indeed, diversification is multifaceted and must also consider alternative risk factors. More recently, factor investing has gained popularity in the fixed income universe, even though the use of risk factors is an old topic for modeling the yield curve and pricing interest rate contingent claims. Factor investing is now implemented for managing portfolios of corporate bonds or emerging bonds.

In this paper, we focus on currency markets. The dynamics of foreign exchange rates are generally explained by several theoretical economic models that are commonly presented as competing approaches. In our opinion, they are more complementary and they can be the backbone of a Fama-French-Carhart risk factor model for currencies. In particular, we show that these risk factors
may explain a significant part of time-series and cross-section returns in foreign exchange markets. Therefore, this result helps us to better understand the management of forex portfolios. To illustrate this point, we provide some applications concerning basket hedging, overlay management and the construction of alpha strategies.

Notable quotations from the academic research paper:

"In this paper, we propose analyzing foreign exchange rates using three main risk factors: carry, value and momentum. The choice of these market risk factors is driven by the economic models of foreign exchange rates. For instance, the carry risk factor is based on the uncovered interest rate parity, the value risk factor is derived from equilibrium models of the real exchange rate, and the momentum risk factor bene fits from the importance of technical analysis, trading behavior and overreaction/underreaction patterns. Moreover, analyzing an asset using these three dimensions helps to better characterize the fi nancial patterns that impact an asset: its income, its price and its trend dynamics. Indeed, carry is associated with the yield of the asset, value measures the fair price or the fundamental risk and momentum summarizes the recent price movements.

FX Carry

FX Value

FX Momentum

By using carry, value and momentum risk factors, we are equipped to study the cross-section and time-series of currency returns. In the case of stocks and bonds, academics present their results at the portfolio level because of the large universe of these asset classes. Since the number of currencies is limited, we can show the results at the security level.

For each currency, we can then estimate the sensitivity with respect to each risk factor, the importance of common risk factors, when speci fic risk does matter, etc. We can also connect statistical figures with monetary policies and regimes, illustrating the high interconnectedness of market risk factors and economic risk factors. The primary goal of building an APT model for currencies is to have a framework for analyzing and comparing the behavior of currency returns. This is the main objective of this paper, and a more appropriate title would have been "Factor Analysis of Currency Returns". By choosing the title "Factor Investing in Currency Markets", we emphasize that our risk factor framework can also help to manage currency portfolios as security analysis always comes before investment decisions.

This paper is organized as follows. Section Two is dedicated to the economics of foreign exchange rates. We fi rst introduce the concept of real exchange rate, which is central for understanding the di fferent theories of exchange rate determination. Then, we focus on interest rate and purchasing power parities. Studying monetary models and identifying the statistical properties of currency returns also helps to defi ne the market risk factors, which are presented in Section Three. These risk factors are built using the same approach in terms of portfolio composition and rebalancing. Section Four presents the cross-section and time-series analysis of each currency. We can then estimate a time-varying APT-based model in order to understand the dynamics of currency markets. The results of this dynamic model can be used to manage a currency portfolio. This is why Section Five considers hedging and
overlay management."

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