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Understanding Mutual Fund and Hedge Fund Styles Using Return Based Style Analysis

  • Arik Ben Dor
  • Ravi Jagannathan

We provide an introduction to the use of return based style analysis of Sharpe (1992) in practice. We demonstrate the importance of selecting the right style benchmarks and how the use of inappropriate style benchmarks may lead to wrong conclusions. When style analysis is applied to sector oriented funds such as healthcare, precious metals, energy, technology, etc., the set of benchmarks should include sector or industry indexes. Following Glosten and Jagannathan (1994), Fung and Hsieh (2001), and Agarwal and Naik (2001), we show how to analyze the investment style of hedge fund managers by including the returns on selected option based strategies as style benchmarks. In the examples we consider, return based style analysis provides insights not available through commonly used 'peer' evaluation alone.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9111.

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Date of creation: Aug 2002
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Dor, Arik Ben, Ravi Jagannathan, and Iwan Meier. "Understanding Mutual Fund and Hedge Fund Styles Using Return-Based Style Analysis." Journal of Investment Management 1, 1 (1st Quarter 2003): 94-134.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9111
Note: AP
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  1. Merton, Robert C, 1981. "On Market Timing and Investment Performance. I. An Equilibrium Theory of Value for Market Forecasts," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(3), pages 363-406, July.
  2. Jennifer Koski & Jeffrey Pontiff, 1996. "How Are Derivatives Used? Evidence from the Mutual Fund Industry," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 96-27, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  3. Glosten, L. R. & Jagannathan, R., 1994. "A contingent claim approach to performance evaluation," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 133-160, January.
  4. 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.
  5. Dybvig, Philip H & Ross, Stephen A, 1985. " Differential Information and Performance Measurement Using a Security Market Line," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 40(2), pages 383-99, June.
  6. Grinblatt, Mark & Titman, Sheridan D, 1989. "Mutual Fund Performance: An Analysis of Quarterly Portfolio Holdings," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62(3), pages 393-416, July.
  7. Jagannathan, Ravi & Korajczyk, Robert A, 1986. "Assessing the Market Timing Performance of Managed Portfolios," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(2), pages 217-35, April.
  8. Liang, Bing, 2000. "Hedge Funds: The Living and the Dead," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 35(03), pages 309-326, September.
  9. Fung, William & Hsieh, David A., 1999. "A primer on hedge funds," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 309-331, September.
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