Resources

Explaining The ‘Disposition Effect’

ETF

There is a large body of academic evidence demonstrating that individual investors are subject to the “disposition effect.” Those suffering from this phenomenon, which was initially described by Hersh Shefrin and Meir Statman in their 1985 paper, “The Disposition to Sell Winners Too Early and Ride Losers Too Long: Theory and Evidence,” tend to sell…

The Irrelevance of Dividends

Research has established that dividend policy should be irrelevant to stock returns, yet investors have long demonstrated an irrational preference for them. Mutual fund providers are well-aware of this fact. Earlier this week, we reviewed a pair of studies showing that mutual fund managers exploit investors’ well-documented preference for cash dividends to attract assets by artificially “juicing”…

Revised Catastrophe Bonds Worth A Look

ETF

Insurance-linked securities (ILS) are a relatively recent financial innovation designed to allow risk to transfer from the insurance industry to the financial markets. Pension funds, banks and sovereign wealth funds are the largest holders of ILS, and hedge funds recently have started to specialize in managing ILS portfolios. Catastrophe (cat) bonds make up the largest…

Socially Responsible Investing Is A (Minor) Drag

ETF

Socially responsible investing, which is designed to address investors’ ethical and financial concerns, has gradually developed to include the consideration of firms’ environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance An interesting question is whether ESG investing has an impact on risk-adjusted returns. It certainly can lead to less efficient diversification (due to screening out companies and…

The Cause Of Myopic Loss Aversion

ETF

From 1927 through 2015, there has been a very large difference between the returns to the S&P 500 and the returns to risk-free Treasury bills—about 8.5% on an annual average basis and about 6.7% on an annualized basis. This large spread is frequently referred to as the equity premium puzzle, because unless investors possess implausibly…

Mutual Funds Lace Portfolios with Dividend “Juice”

It has long been known that many investors have a preference for cash dividends. From the perspective of classical financial theory, this behavior is an anomaly. The reason is that, in their 1961 paper, “Dividend Policy, Growth, and the Valuation of Shares,” Merton Miller and Franco Modigliani famously established that dividend policy should be irrelevant…

Don’t Let Wall Street Fool You Into Taking Too Much Risk

Competition for your dollars creates an inertia that always seems to lead Wall Street down the path of unhelpfully increasing the risk in your portfolio. The recent Wall Street Journal headline, “Bond Funds Turn Up Risk,” illustrates an especially alarming trend. Specifically, of increasing the risk in the part of your portfolio that should be…

Looking At Your Portfolio Hurts Returns

ETF

Earlier this week, we examined a pair of studies that sought to explore the relationship between the equity premium puzzle and investor behavior, specifically a behavior known as myopic loss aversion (MLA). MLA describes the tendency of investors who are loss-averse to evaluate their portfolios too frequently, thus causing them to take a short-term view…

It’s A Good Thing Investing Isn’t Like the Olympics

Imagine that your entire life revolves around a single performance lasting less than 14 seconds. You’ve sacrificed your youth, close friendships and any semblance of a career in pursuit of validating your Herculean effort on the world’s largest stage. The hopes of your country on your shoulders. Tens of millions of gawkers eager to praise…

Research Highlights Active Mgmt Shortcomings

ETF

In many walks of life, trying to discern the lucky from the skilled can be a difficult task. For example, it seems like every time a professional sports draft occurs, debate again flares up over whether the evaluation of college (or even high school) athletes is an exercise in skill or in luck. Were the…

Use Caution With Low Vol Strategies

ETF

As we have discussed before, one of the major problems for the first formal asset pricing model developed by financial economists, the capital asset pricing model (CAPM), was that it predicts a positive relation between risk and return. But empirical studies have found the actual relation to be flat, or even negative. Over the past…

Irrelevance Of Dividends

ETF

Research has established that dividend policy should be irrelevant to stock returns, yet investors have long demonstrated an irrational preference for them. Mutual fund providers are well-aware of this fact. Earlier this week, we reviewed a pair of studies showing that mutual fund managers exploit investors’ well-documented preference for cash dividends to attract assets by…

Mutual Funds Lace Portfolios With Dividend ‘Juice’

ETF

It has long been known that many investors have a preference for cash dividends. From the perspective of classical financial theory, this behavior is an anomaly. The reason is that, in their 1961 paper, “Dividend Policy, Growth, and the Valuation of Shares,” Merton Miller and Franco Modigliani famously established that dividend policy should be irrelevant…

The Fading Benefits of Low Volatility Strategies

Low-volatility strategies have quickly become the darling of many investors, thanks largely to trauma caused by the bear market that arose from the 2008-2009 financial crisis combined with academic research showing that the low-volatility anomaly exists in equity markets around the globe. Earlier this week, we took a detailed look at a 2016 study from David Blitz,…

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