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How Smart Are the Smart Guys? A Unique View from Hedge Fund Stock Holdings

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  • John M. Griffin
  • Jin Xu
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    Abstract

    Compared to mutual funds, hedge funds prefer smaller, opaque value securities, and have higher turnover and more active share bets. Decomposing returns into three components, we find that hedge funds are better than mutual funds at stock picking by only 1.32% per year on a value-weighted basis, and this result is insignificant on an equal-weighted basis or with price-to-sales benchmarks. Hedge funds exhibit no ability to time sectors or pick better stock styles. Surprisingly, we find only weak evidence of differential ability between hedge funds. Overall, our study raises serious questions about the perceived superior skill of hedge fund managers. The Author 2009. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Society for Financial Studies. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org, Oxford University Press.

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/rfs/hhp026
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Society for Financial Studies in its journal The Review of Financial Studies.

    Volume (Year): 22 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 7 (July)
    Pages: 2331-2370

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    Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:22:y:2009:i:7:p:2331-2370

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    Cited by:
    1. Dichev, Ilia D. & Yu, Gwen, 2011. "Higher risk, lower returns: What hedge fund investors really earn," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(2), pages 248-263, May.
    2. Agarwal, Vikas & Fos, Vyacheslav & Jiang, Wei, 2012. "Inferring reporting biases in hedge fund databases from hedge fund equity holdings," CFR Working Papers 10-08 [rev.], University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
    3. Charles Cao & Lubomir Petrasek, 2011. "Liquidity risk and hedge fund ownership," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2011-49, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    4. Kolokolova, Olga, 2011. "Strategic behavior within families of hedge funds," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 1645-1662, July.
    5. Agarwal, Vikas & Jiang, Wei & Tang, Yuehua & Yang, Baozhong, 2011. "Uncovering hedge fund skill from the portfolio holdings they hide," CFR Working Papers 10-09 [rev.], University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
    6. Massoud, Nadia & Nandy, Debarshi & Saunders, Anthony & Song, Keke, 2011. "Do hedge funds trade on private information? Evidence from syndicated lending and short-selling," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(3), pages 477-499, March.
    7. Aragon, George O. & Strahan, Philip E., 2012. "Hedge funds as liquidity providers: Evidence from the Lehman bankruptcy," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(3), pages 570-587.
    8. Aragon, George O. & Spencer Martin, J., 2012. "A unique view of hedge fund derivatives usage: Safeguard or speculation?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(2), pages 436-456.
    9. Gantchev, Nickolay, 2013. "The costs of shareholder activism: Evidence from a sequential decision model," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(3), pages 610-631.
    10. Shive, Sophie & Yun, Hayong, 2013. "Are mutual funds sitting ducks?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(1), pages 220-237.

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