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Bayesian Performance Evaluation

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  • Klaas Baks
  • Andrew Metrick
  • Jessica Wachter

Abstract

This paper proposes a Bayesian method of performance evaluation for investment managers. We begin with a flexible set of prior beliefs that can be elicited without any reference to probability distributions or their parameters. We then combine these prior beliefs with a general multi-factor model and derive an analytical solution for the posterior expectation of alpha', the intercept term from the model. This solution can be computed using only a few extra steps beyond maximum likelihood estimation and does not require a comprehensive or bias-free database. We then apply our methodology to a sample of domestic diversified equity mutual funds and ask what prior beliefs would imply zero investment in active managers?' To justify such a zero-investment strategy, we find that a mean-variance investor would need to believe that less than 1 out of every 100,000 managers has an expected alpha greater than 25 basis points per month. Overall, our analysis suggests that even when the average manager is expected to underperform passive benchmarks, it requires very strong prior beliefs to imply zero investment in managers with the best past performance.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7069.

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Date of creation: Apr 1999
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Publication status: published as Newly titled "Should Investors Avoid All Actively Managed Mutual Funds? A Study in Bayesian Performance Evaluation", Journal of Finance (February 2001).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7069

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References

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  1. Lubos Pastor & Robert F. Stambaugh, 1999. "Comparing Asset Pricing Models: An Investment Perspective," NBER Working Papers 7284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Jorion, Philippe, 1985. "International Portfolio Diversification with Estimation Risk," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(3), pages 259-78, July.
  3. William N. Goetzmann & Stephen J. Brown, 2005. "Performance Persistence," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm451, Yale School of Management.
  4. Jorion, Philippe, 1991. "Bayesian and CAPM estimators of the means: Implications for portfolio selection," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 717-727, June.
  5. Shanken, Jay, 1987. "A Bayesian approach to testing portfolio efficiency," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 195-215, December.
  6. Ferson, Wayne E & Schadt, Rudi W, 1996. " Measuring Fund Strategy and Performance in Changing Economic Conditions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(2), pages 425-61, June.
  7. Keim, Donald B. & Madhavan, Ananth, 1997. "Transactions costs and investment style: an inter-exchange analysis of institutional equity trades," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 265-292, December.
  8. Carhart, Mark M, 1997. " On Persistence in Mutual Fund Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 57-82, March.
  9. Daniel, Kent & Titman, Sheridan, 1997. " Evidence on the Characteristics of Cross Sectional Variation in Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 1-33, March.
  10. Frost, Peter A. & Savarino, James E., 1986. "An Empirical Bayes Approach to Efficient Portfolio Selection," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 21(03), pages 293-305, September.
  11. Stambaugh, Robert F., 1997. "Analyzing investments whose histories differ in length," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 285-331, September.
  12. repec:fth:pennfi:72 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Judith Chevalier & Glenn Ellison, 1996. "Are Some Mutual Funds Managers Better Than Others? Cross-Sectional Patterns in Behavior and Performance," NBER Working Papers 5852, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Fama, Eugene F, 1970. "Efficient Capital Markets: A Review of Theory and Empirical Work," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 25(2), pages 383-417, May.
  15. Lubos Pástor & Robert F. Stambaugh, . "Costs of Equity Capital and Model Mispricing," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 04-98, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  16. Kandel, Shmuel & McCulloch, Robert & Stambaugh, Robert F, 1995. "Bayesian Inference and Portfolio Efficiency," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 8(1), pages 1-53.
  17. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1993. "Common risk factors in the returns on stocks and bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 3-56, February.
  18. Gibbons, Michael R & Ross, Stephen A & Shanken, Jay, 1989. "A Test of the Efficiency of a Given Portfolio," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(5), pages 1121-52, September.
  19. Klein, Roger W. & Bawa, Vijay S., 1976. "The effect of estimation risk on optimal portfolio choice," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 215-231, June.
  20. Jorion, Philippe, 1986. "Bayes-Stein Estimation for Portfolio Analysis," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 21(03), pages 279-292, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Marcin Kacperczyk & Clemens Sialm & Lu Zheng, 2005. "On the Industry Concentration of Actively Managed Equity Mutual Funds," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(4), pages 1983-2011, 08.
  2. Lubos Pastor & Robert F. Stambaugh, 2000. "Evaluating and Investing in Equity Mutual Funds," NBER Working Papers 7779, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Klaas P. Baks, 2001. "Should Investors Avoid All Actively Managed Mutual Funds? A Study in Bayesian Performance Evaluation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(1), pages 45-85, 02.
  4. JOSHUA D. COVAL & David Hirshleifer & TYLER G. SHUMWAY, 2004. "Can Individual Investors Beat the Market?," Finance 0412005, EconWPA.
  5. Malcolm Baker & Lubomir Litov & Jessica A. Wachter & Jeffrey Wurgler, 2004. "Can Mutual Fund Managers Pick Stocks? Evidence from the Trades Prior to Earnings Announcements," NBER Working Papers 10685, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Slavutskaya, Anna, 2013. "Short-term hedge fund performance," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 4404-4431.

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