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Does the Application of Smart Beta Strategies Enhance Portfolio Performance? The Case of Islamic Equity Investments

Author

Listed:
  • Raza , Muhammad Wajid

    (Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University)

  • Ashraf, Dawood

    () (The Islamic Research and Teaching Institute (IRTI))

Abstract

Traditionally, passive portfolios are structured using an easy to implement market capitalization method albeit highly skewed towards large cap stocks. The introduction of smart beta strategies has allowed passive investors to structure equity portfolios using alternative strategies such as fundamentalweighting, equal-weighting, and low-risk weighting strategies. This paper investigates whether constrained portfolios such as Shari’ah-compliant equity portfolios (SCEPs) can benefit by adopting smart beta strategies. The sample consists of equities from the USA, Canada, Australia, Europe, Middle East, Indonesia, and Malaysia for the period January 2003 to December 2016. The empirical findings suggest that smart beta SCEPs outperform not only conventional market capitalization weighted portfolios but also SCEPs following a market capitalization-weighted strategy. Higher risk-adjusted returns and lower drawdown as a result of following smart beta strategies highlight the importance of considering smart beta portfolio weighting strategies for passive investors. The supremacy of smart beta strategies indicates the value proposition for investors and fund managers alike. We also found that geographical location affects the performance of smart beta SCEPs; countries with a Muslim majority report higher cardinality and lower drawdowns. The results remained robust with alternative Shari’ah screening guidelines and empirical estimation methodology.

Suggested Citation

  • Raza , Muhammad Wajid & Ashraf, Dawood, 2018. "Does the Application of Smart Beta Strategies Enhance Portfolio Performance? The Case of Islamic Equity Investments," Working Papers 2018-1, The Islamic Research and Teaching Institute (IRTI).
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:irtiwp:2018_001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Pepis, Scott & de Jong, Pieter, 2019. "Effects of Shariah-compliant business practices on long-term financial performance," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 254-267.
    2. Fadillah Mansor & M. Ishaq Bhatti & Shafiqur Rahman & Hung Quang Do, 2020. "The Investment Performance of Ethical Equity Funds in Malaysia," Journal of Risk and Financial Management, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 13(9), pages 1-14, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Portfolio construction methods; capital markets; Shari’ah investments; Smart beta;

    JEL classification:

    • F40 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - General
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G29 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Other

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