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Measuring Performance of Exchange Traded Funds

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  • Hassine, Marlène
  • Roncalli, Thierry

Abstract

Fund selection is an important issue for investors. This topic has spawned abundant academic literature. Nonetheless, most of the time, these works concern only active management, whereas many investors, such as institutional investors, prefer to invest in index funds. The tools developed in the case of active management are also not suitable for evaluating the performance of these index funds. This explains why information ratios are usually used to compare the performance of passive funds. However, we show that this measure is not pertinent, especially when the tracking error volatility of the index fund is small. The objective of an exchange traded fund (ETF) is precisely to offer an investment vehicle that presents a very low tracking error compared to its benchmark. In this paper, we propose a performance measure based on the value-at-risk framework, which is perfectly adapted to passive management and ETFs. Depending on three parameters (performance difference, tracking error volatility and liquidity spread), this efficiency measure is easy to compute and may help investors in their fund selection process. We provide some examples, and show how liquidity is more of an issue for institutional investors than retail investors.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 44298.

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Date of creation: 05 Feb 2013
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:44298

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Keywords: Passive management; index fund; ETF; information ratio; tracking error; liquidity; spread; value-at-risk;

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  1. William F. Sharpe, 1964. "Capital Asset Prices: A Theory Of Market Equilibrium Under Conditions Of Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 19(3), pages 425-442, 09.
  2. Estrada, Javier, 2007. "Mean-semivariance behavior: Downside risk and capital asset pricing," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 169-185.
  3. Olivier Scaillet & Laurent Barras & Russell R. Wermers, 2005. "False Discoveries in Mutual Fund Performance: Measuring Luck in Estimated Alphas," Working Papers CEB 05-014.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  4. Carhart, Mark M, 1997. " On Persistence in Mutual Fund Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 57-82, March.
  5. Blake, Christopher R & Elton, Edwin J & Gruber, Martin J, 1993. "The Performance of Bond Mutual Funds," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66(3), pages 370-403, July.
  6. Harry Markowitz, 1952. "Portfolio Selection," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 7(1), pages 77-91, 03.
  7. 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.
  8. Beasley, J. E. & Meade, N. & Chang, T. -J., 2003. "An evolutionary heuristic for the index tracking problem," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 148(3), pages 621-643, August.
  9. Elton, Edwin J, et al, 1993. "Efficiency with Costly Information: A Reinterpretation of Evidence from Managed Portfolios," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 6(1), pages 1-22.
  10. Edwin J. Elton & Martin J. Gruber & Jeffrey A. Busse, 2004. "Are Investors Rational? Choices among Index Funds," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(1), pages 261-288, 02.
  11. McNeil, Alexander J. & Frey, Rudiger, 2000. "Estimation of tail-related risk measures for heteroscedastic financial time series: an extreme value approach," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 7(3-4), pages 271-300, November.
  12. Bawa, Vijay S., 1975. "Optimal rules for ordering uncertain prospects," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 95-121, March.
  13. Fishburn, Peter C, 1977. "Mean-Risk Analysis with Risk Associated with Below-Target Returns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 116-26, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Anna Calamia & Laurent Deville & Fabrice Riva, 2013. "Liquidity in European Equity ETFs: What Really Matters?," GREDEG Working Papers 2013-10, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.

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