Higher risk, lower returns: What hedge fund investors really earn
The returns of hedge fund investors depend not only on the returns of the funds they hold but also on the timing and magnitude of their capital flows in and out of these funds. We use dollar-weighted returns (a form of Internal Rate of Return (IRR)) to assess the properties of actual investor returns on hedge funds and compare them to buy-and-hold fund returns. Our main finding is that annualized dollar-weighted returns are on the magnitude of 3% to 7% lower than corresponding buy-and-hold fund returns. Using factor models of risk and the estimated dollar-weighted performance gap, we find that the real alpha of hedge fund investors is close to zero. In absolute terms, dollar-weighted returns are reliably lower than the return on the Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500 index, and are only marginally higher than the risk-free rate as of the end of 2008. The combined impression from these results is that the return experience of hedge fund investors is much worse than previously thought.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Mitchell A. Petersen, 2005.
"Estimating Standard Errors in Finance Panel Data Sets: Comparing Approaches,"
NBER Working Papers
11280, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Mitchell A. Petersen, 2009. "Estimating Standard Errors in Finance Panel Data Sets: Comparing Approaches," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(1), pages 435-480, January.
- Narayan Y. Naik & Tarun Ramadorai & Maria Stromqvist, 2007. "Capacity Constraints and Hedge Fund Strategy Returns," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 13(2), pages 239-256.
- Kosowski, Robert & Naik, Narayan Y. & Teo, Melvyn, 2007. "Do hedge funds deliver alpha? A Bayesian and bootstrap analysis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 229-264, April.
- Fung, William & Hsieh, David A, 2001. "The Risk in Hedge Fund Strategies: Theory and Evidence from Trend Followers," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 14(2), pages 313-41.
- Friesen, Geoffrey C. & Sapp, Travis R.A., 2007. "Mutual fund flows and investor returns: An empirical examination of fund investor timing ability," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(9), pages 2796-2816, September.
- John M. Griffin & Jin Xu, 2009. "How Smart Are the Smart Guys? A Unique View from Hedge Fund Stock Holdings," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(7), pages 2331-2370, July.
- Gaurav Amin & Harry. M Kat, 2001.
"Hedge Fund Performance 1990-2000- Do the "Money Machines" Really Add Value?,"
ICMA Centre Discussion Papers in Finance
icma-dp2001-05, Henley Business School, Reading University, revised Sep 2001.
- Amin, Gaurav S. & Kat, Harry M., 2003. "Hedge Fund Performance 1990–2000: Do the “Money Machines” Really Add Value?," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 38(02), pages 251-274, June.
- Andrea Frazzini & Owen A. Lamont, 2005.
"Dumb Money: Mutual Fund Flows and the Cross-Section of Stock Returns,"
NBER Working Papers
11526, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Frazzini, Andrea & Lamont, Owen A., 2008. "Dumb money: Mutual fund flows and the cross-section of stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 299-322, May.
- William Fung & David A. Hsieh & Narayan Y. Naik & Tarun Ramadorai, 2008.
"Hedge Funds: Performance, Risk, and Capital Formation,"
Journal of Finance,
American Finance Association, vol. 63(4), pages 1777-1803, 08.
- Fung, William & Hsieh, David A & Naik, Narayan & Ramadorai, Tarun, 2006. "Hedge Funds: Performance, Risk and Capital Formation," CEPR Discussion Papers 5565, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Vikas Agarwal, 2004. "Risks and Portfolio Decisions Involving Hedge Funds," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 17(1), pages 63-98.
- Erik R. Sirri & Peter Tufano, 1998. "Costly Search and Mutual Fund Flows," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(5), pages 1589-1622, October.
- Ilia D. Dichev, 2007. "What Are Stock Investors’ Actual Historical Returns? Evidence from Dollar-Weighted Returns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 386-401, March.
- Geetesh Bhardwaj & Gary Gorton & K. Rouwenhorst, 2008.
"Fooling Some of the People All of the Time: The Inefficient Performance and Persistence of Commodity Trading Advisors,"
Yale School of Management Working Papers
amz2429, Yale School of Management.
- Geetesh Bhardwaj & Gary B. Gorton & K. Geert Rouwenhorst, 2008. "Fooling Some of the People All of the Time: The Inefficient Performance and Persistence of Commodity Trading Advisors," NBER Working Papers 14424, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Carl Ackermann & Richard McEnally & David Ravenscraft, 1999. "The Performance of Hedge Funds: Risk, Return, and Incentives," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(3), pages 833-874, 06.
- Vikas Agarwal & Naveen D. Daniel & Narayan Y. Naik, 2009. "Role of Managerial Incentives and Discretion in Hedge Fund Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(5), pages 2221-2256, October.
- Fung, William & Hsieh, David A, 1997. "Empirical Characteristics of Dynamic Trading Strategies: The Case of Hedge Funds," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 10(2), pages 275-302.
- Stephen J. Brown, 2001. "Careers and Survival: Competition and Risk in the Hedge Fund and CTA Industry," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(5), pages 1869-1886, October.
- Judith A. Chevalier & Glenn D. Ellison, 1995.
"Risk Taking by Mutual Funds as a Response to Incentives,"
NBER Working Papers
5234, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Chevalier, Judith & Ellison, Glenn, 1997. "Risk Taking by Mutual Funds as a Response to Incentives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1167-1200, December.
- Chevalier, J. & Ellison, G., 1996. "Risk Taking by Mutual Funds as a Response to Incentives," Working papers 96-3, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- William K.H. Fung & David A. Hsieh, 2006. "Hedge funds: an industry in its adolescence," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q 4, pages 1-34.
- Stulz, Rene M., 2007.
"Hedge Funds: Past, Present, and Future,"
Working Paper Series
2007-3, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.
- Melvyn Teo, 2009. "The Geography of Hedge Funds," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(9), pages 3531-3561, September.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:100:y:2011:i:2:p:248-263. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.