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Assessing Asset Pricing Anomalies


  • Brennan, Michael J
  • Xia, Yihong


The optimal portfolio strategy is developed for an investor who has detected an asset pricing anomaly but is not certain that the anomaly is genuine rather than merely apparent. The analysis takes account of the fact that the parameters of both the underlying asset pricing model and the anomalous returns are estimated rather than known. The value that an investor would place on the ability to invest to exploit the apparent anomaly is also derived and illustrative calculations are presented for the Fama and French SMB and HML portfolios, whose returns are anomalous relative to the CAPM. Article published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Financial Studies in its journal, The Review of Financial Studies.

Suggested Citation

  • Brennan, Michael J & Xia, Yihong, 2001. "Assessing Asset Pricing Anomalies," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 14(4), pages 905-942.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:14:y:2001:i:4:p:905-42

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1992. " The Cross-Section of Expected Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(2), pages 427-465, June.
    2. Gennotte, Gerard, 1986. " Optimal Portfolio Choice under Incomplete Information," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 41(3), pages 733-746, July.
    3. Lo, Andrew W & MacKinlay, A Craig, 1990. "Data-Snooping Biases in Tests of Financial Asset Pricing Models," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 3(3), pages 431-467.
    4. Yihong Xia, 2001. "Learning about Predictability: The Effects of Parameter Uncertainty on Dynamic Asset Allocation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(1), pages 205-246, February.
    5. Pastor, Lubos & Stambaugh, Robert F., 2000. "Comparing asset pricing models: an investment perspective," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 335-381, June.
    6. M. J. Brennan, 1998. "The Role of Learning in Dynamic Portfolio Decisions," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 1(3), pages 295-306.
    7. 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.
    8. Detemple, Jerome B., 1991. "Further results on asset pricing with incomplete information," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 425-453, July.
    9. Williams, Joseph T., 1977. "Capital asset prices with heterogeneous beliefs," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 219-239, November.
    10. Detemple, Jerome B, 1986. " Asset Pricing in a Production Economy with Incomplete Information," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 41(2), pages 383-391, June.
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