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Luck versus Forecast Ability: Determinants of Trader Performance in Futures Markets

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  • Hartzmark, Michael L
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    Abstract

    Statistical techniques are used to demonstrate that the fortunes of individual futures traders are determined by luck, not forecast ability. Even though a large number of traders appear to exhibit significantly superior forecast ability, the investigation strongly supports three conclusions: there are fewer participants with significantly superior skill than expected if participants trade randomly, there are more traders exhibiting no skill than expected if participants trade randomly, and forecast ability is not correlated over time--superior forecasters in the early period are only average forecasters in the later period. Therefore it is luck that determines trader performance. Copyright 1991 by University of Chicago Press.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Business.

    Volume (Year): 64 (1991)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 49-74

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    Handle: RePEc:ucp:jnlbus:v:64:y:1991:i:1:p:49-74

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    Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JB/

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    Cited by:
    1. Büyükşahin, Bahattin & Robe, Michel A., 2014. "Speculators, commodities and cross-market linkages," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 38-70.
    2. Oliver Blaskowitz & Helmut Herwatz, 2008. "Adaptive Forecasting of the EURIBOR Swap Term Structure," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2008-017, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    3. Konstantinidi, Eirini & Skiadopoulos, George, 2011. "Are VIX futures prices predictable? An empirical investigation," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 543-560.
    4. M. Numan Ünlü, 2008. "Expectations of Professionals in The Turkish Stock Market: a Study of a Monthly Reuters Survey," Bogazici Journal of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Bogazici University, Department of Economics, vol. 22(1+2), pages 1-16.
    5. Andersson, Patric, 2004. "How well do financial experts perform? A review of empirical research on performance of analysts, day-traders, forecasters, fund managers, investors, and stockbrokers," Working Paper Series in Business Administration 2004:9, Stockholm School of Economics.
    6. W. Bruce Canoles & Sarahelen R. Thompson & Scott H. Irwin & Virginia G. France & ., 1997. "An Analysis of the Profiles and Motivations of Habitual Commodity Speculators," Finance 9705001, EconWPA.
    7. Kocagil, Ahmet E. & Topyan, Kudret, 1997. "An empirical note on demand for speculation and futures risk premium: A Kalman Filter application," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 77-93.
    8. Wang, Changyun, 2001. "The behavior and performance of major types of futures traders," MPRA Paper 36426, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jul 2002.
    9. Chua, Choong Tze & Lai, Sandy & Wu, Yangru, 2008. "Effective fair pricing of international mutual funds," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(11), pages 2307-2324, November.
    10. Gina Nicolosi & Liang Peng, 2004. "Do individual investors learn from their trading experience," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 532, Econometric Society.
    11. Adjemian, Michael K. & Garcia, Philip & Irwin, Scott & Smith, Aaron, 2013. "Non-Convergence in Domestic Commodity Futures Markets: Causes, Consequences, and Remedies," Economic Information Bulletin 155381, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    12. Weiner, Robert J., 2000. "Sheep in Wolves' Clothing?," Cahiers de recherche 0001, GREEN.
    13. Mutafoglu, Takvor H. & Tokat, Ekin & Tokat, Hakki A., 2012. "Forecasting precious metal price movements using trader positions," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 273-280.
    14. Anton Andriyashin, 2008. "Stock Picking via Nonsymmetrically Pruned Binary Decision Trees," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2008-035, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    15. Buchanan, W. K. & Hodges, P. & Theis, J., 2001. "Which way the natural gas price: an attempt to predict the direction of natural gas spot price movements using trader positions," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 279-293, May.
    16. Aaron Tornell & Chunming Yuan, . "Speculation and Hedging in the Currency Futures Markets: Are They Informative to the Spot Exchange Rates," UMBC Economics Department Working Papers 09-116, UMBC Department of Economics, revised 01 Nov 2009.
    17. Hanaki, Nobuyuki & Kirman, Alan & Marsili, Matteo, 2011. "Born under a lucky star?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 77(3), pages 382-392, March.
    18. Goulas, Lambros & Skiadopoulos, George, 2012. "Are freight futures markets efficient? Evidence from IMAREX," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 644-659.
    19. Greer, Mark, 2003. "Directional accuracy tests of long-term interest rate forecasts," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 291-298.

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