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Positive Portfolio Factors


  • Stephen J. Brown
  • William N. Goetzmann
  • Mark Grinblatt


We use an iterative relocation algorithm to identify factors in common stock returns. The benefit of the approach is that factors are portfolios of assets with non-negative weights. As a result, they are readily interpreted in terms of their characteristics of the underlying securities. The positive portfolio factors have comparatively high explanatory power in sample and out-of-sample. We find evidence of a size factor and factors identified with certain industries. Factors extracted from the mutual fund universe perform marginally better than factors from the universe of equities.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen J. Brown & William N. Goetzmann & Mark Grinblatt, 1998. "Positive Portfolio Factors," NBER Working Papers 6412, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6412
    Note: AP

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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.
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    7. Chen, Nai-Fu & Roll, Richard & Ross, Stephen A, 1986. "Economic Forces and the Stock Market," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(3), pages 383-403, July.
    8. Brown, Stephen J, 1989. " The Number of Factors in Security Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(5), pages 1247-1262, December.
    9. Grinblatt, Mark & Titman, Sheridan, 1983. "Factor pricing in a finite economy," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 497-507, December.
    10. Connor, Gregory & Korajczyk, Robert A., 1988. "Risk and return in an equilibrium APT : Application of a new test methodology," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 255-289, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Brown, Stephen J. & Lajbcygier, Paul & Wong, Woon Weng, 2012. "Estimating the cost of capital with basis assets," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(11), pages 3071-3079.

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