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Low-Cost Momentum Strategies

  • Xiafei Li

    (Cass Buisness School, City University (UK))

  • Chris Brooks

    ()

    (ICMA Centre, University of Reading)

  • Jöelle Miffre

    (EDHEC Business School, Nice, France)

The article analyses the impact of trading costs on the profitability of momentum strategies in the UK and concludes that losers are more expensive to trade than winners. The observed asymmetry in the costs of trading winners and losers crucially relates to the high cost of selling loser stocks with small size and low trading volume. Since transaction costs severely impact net momentum profits, the paper defines a new low-cost relative-strength strategy by shortlisting from all winner and loser stocks those with the lowest total transaction costs. While the study severely questions the profitability of standard momentum strategies, it concludes that there is still room for momentum-based return enhancement, should asset managers decide to adopt low-cost relative-strength strategies.

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File URL: http://www.icmacentre.ac.uk/files/dp2007_12v2.pdf
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Paper provided by Henley Business School, Reading University in its series ICMA Centre Discussion Papers in Finance with number icma-dp2007-12.

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Length: 17 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rdg:icmadp:icma-dp2007-12
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Web page: http://www.henley.reading.ac.uk/

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  1. Chan, Louis K C & Lakonishok, Josef, 1997. " Institutional Equity Trading Costs: NYSE versus Nasdaq," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 713-35, June.
  2. Xiafei Li & Chris Brooks & Joelle Miffre, 2006. "Momentum Profits and Time-Varying Unsystematic Risk," ICMA Centre Discussion Papers in Finance icma-dp2006-09, Henley Business School, Reading University, revised Sep 2006.
  3. Tobias J. Moskowitz & Mark Grinblatt, . "Do Industries Explain Momentum?," CRSP working papers 352, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  4. Lesmond, David A. & Schill, Michael J. & Zhou, Chunsheng, 2004. "The illusory nature of momentum profits," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 349-380, February.
  5. Keim, Donald B. & Madhavan, Ananth, 1997. "Transactions costs and investment style: an inter-exchange analysis of institutional equity trades," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 265-292, December.
  6. Chan, Louis K. C. & Lakonishok, Josef, 1993. "Institutional trades and intraday stock price behavior," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 173-199, April.
  7. Hanna, J. Douglas & Ready, Mark J., 2005. "Profitable predictability in the cross section of stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(3), pages 463-505, December.
  8. Robert A. Korajczyk & Ronnie Sadka, 2003. "Are Momentum Profits Robust to Trading Costs?," Finance 0308004, EconWPA.
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  12. K. Geert Rouwenhorst, 1998. "International Momentum Strategies," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(1), pages 267-284, 02.
  13. Conrad, Jennifer & Kaul, Gautam, 1998. "An Anatomy of Trading Strategies," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 11(3), pages 489-519.
  14. Narasimhan Jegadeesh, 2001. "Profitability of Momentum Strategies: An Evaluation of Alternative Explanations," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(2), pages 699-720, 04.
  15. Lee, Charles M C & Ready, Mark J, 1991. " Inferring Trade Direction from Intraday Data," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(2), pages 733-46, June.
  16. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1992. " The Cross-Section of Expected Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(2), pages 427-65, June.
  17. Keim, Donald B & Madhaven, Ananth, 1996. "The Upstairs Market for Large-Block Transactions: Analysis and Measurement of Price Effects," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 9(1), pages 1-36.
  18. Chan, Louis K C & Jegadeesh, Narasimhan & Lakonishok, Josef, 1996. " Momentum Strategies," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(5), pages 1681-1713, December.
  19. 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.
  20. Bessembinder, Hendrik & Kaufman, Herbert M., 1997. "A Comparison of Trade Execution Costs for NYSE and NASDAQ-Listed Stocks," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 32(03), pages 287-310, September.
  21. Ashiq Ali & Mark A. Trombley, 2006. "Short Sales Constraints and Momentum in Stock Returns," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(3-4), pages 587-615.
  22. Berkowitz, Stephen A & Logue, Dennis E & Noser, Eugene A, Jr, 1988. " The Total Cost of Transactions on the NYSE," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(1), pages 97-112, March.
  23. Keim, Donald B. & Madhavan, Ananth, 1995. "Anatomy of the trading process Empirical evidence on the behavior of institutional traders," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 371-398, March.
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