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Performance maximization of actively managed funds

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  • Paolo Guasoni
  • Gur Huberman
  • Zhenyu Wang

Abstract

Ratios that indicate the statistical significance of a fund's alpha typically appraise its performance. A growing literature suggests that even in the absence of any ability to predict returns, holding options positions on the benchmark assets or trading frequently can significantly enhance performance ratios. This paper derives the performance-maximizing strategy--a variant of buy-write--and the least upper bound on such performance enhancement, thereby showing that if common equity indexes are used as benchmarks, the potential performance enhancement from trading frequently is usually negligible. The enhancement from holding options can be substantial if the implied volatilities of the options are higher than the volatilities of the benchmark returns.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 427.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:427

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Keywords: Stocks - Rate of return ; Options (Finance) ; Hedge funds ; Mutual funds ; Portfolio management;

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  1. Mark Mitchell, 2001. "Characteristics of Risk and Return in Risk Arbitrage," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(6), pages 2135-2175, December.
  2. Grinblatt, Mark & Titman, Sheridan D, 1989. "Mutual Fund Performance: An Analysis of Quarterly Portfolio Holdings," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62(3), pages 393-416, July.
  3. Black, Fischer & Scholes, Myron S, 1973. "The Pricing of Options and Corporate Liabilities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 637-54, May-June.
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  8. Lars Peter Hansen & Ravi Jagannathan, 1994. "Assessing specification errors in stochastic discount factor models," Staff Report 167, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  9. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1996. " Multifactor Explanations of Asset Pricing Anomalies," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(1), pages 55-84, March.
  10. Merton, Robert C, 1981. "On Market Timing and Investment Performance. I. An Equilibrium Theory of Value for Market Forecasts," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(3), pages 363-406, July.
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  12. Michael C. Jensen, 1968. "The Performance Of Mutual Funds In The Period 1945–1964," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 23(2), pages 389-416, 05.
  13. Robert C. Merton, 1973. "Theory of Rational Option Pricing," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 4(1), pages 141-183, Spring.
  14. Banz, Rolf W., 1981. "The relationship between return and market value of common stocks," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 3-18, March.
  15. Jegadeesh, Narasimhan & Titman, Sheridan, 1993. " Returns to Buying Winners and Selling Losers: Implications for Stock Market Efficiency," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(1), pages 65-91, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Jennifer Huang & Clemens Sialm & Hanjiang Zhang, 2009. "Risk Shifting and Mutual Fund Performance," NBER Working Papers 14903, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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