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Performance Evaluation with Stochastic Discount Factors

Author

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  • Heber Farnsworth
  • Wayne E. Ferson
  • David Jackson
  • Steven Todd

Abstract

We study the use of stochastic discount factor (SDF) models in evaluating the investment performance of portfolio managers. By constructing artificial mutual funds with known levels of investment ability, we evaluate a large set of SDF models. We find that the measures of performance are not highly sensitive to the SDF model, and that most of the models have a mild negative bias when performance is neutral. We use the models to evaluate a sample of U.S. equity mutual funds. Adjusting for the observed bias, we find that the average mutual fund has enough ability to cover its transactions costs. Extreme funds are more likely to have good rather than poor risk adjusted performance. Our analysis also reveals a number of implementation issues relevant to other applications of SDF models.

Suggested Citation

  • Heber Farnsworth & Wayne E. Ferson & David Jackson & Steven Todd, 2002. "Performance Evaluation with Stochastic Discount Factors," NBER Working Papers 8791, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8791
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading

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