The Statistical Properties of Hedge Fund Index Returns
he monthly return distributions of many hedge fund indices exhibit highly unusual skewness and kurtosis properties as well as first-order serial correlation. This has important consequences for investors. We demonstrate that although hedge fund indices are highly attractive in mean-variance terms, this is much less the case when skewness, kurtosis and autocorrelation are taken into account. Sharpe Ratios will substantially overestimate the true risk-return performance of (portfolios containing) hedge funds. Similarly, mean-variance portfolio analysis will over-allocate to hedge funds and overestimate the attainable benefits from including hedge funds in an investment portfolio. We also find substantial differences between indices that aim to cover the same type of strategy. Investors’ perceptions of hedge fund performance and value added will therefore strongly depend on the indices used.
|Date of creation:||Nov 2001|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||Published in Journal of Alternative Investments 5:2, 26-44|
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- William F. Sharpe, 1965. "Mutual Fund Performance," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39, pages 119.
- Geltner, David Michael, 1991. "Smoothing in Appraisal-Based Returns," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 327-45, September.
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- 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.
- David M. Geltner, 1993. "Estimating Market Values from Appraised Values without Assuming an Efficient Market," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 8(3), pages 325-346.
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