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The Trend is Our Friend: Risk Parity, Momentum and Trend Following in Global Asset Allocation

  • Andrew Clare
  • James Seaton
  • Peter N. Smith
  • Stephen Thomas

We examine the effectiveness of applying a trend following methodology to global asset allocation between equities, bonds, commodities and real estate. The application of trend following offers a substantial improvement in risk-adjusted performance compared to traditional buy-and-hold portfolios. We also find it to be a superior method of asset allocation than risk parity. Momentum and trend following have often been used interchangeably although the former is a relative concept and the latter absolute. By combining the two we find that one can achieve the higher return levels associated with momentum portfolios but with much reduced volatility and drawdowns due to trend following. We observe that a flexible asset allocation strategy that allocates capital to the best performing instruments irrespective of asset class enhances this further.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of York in its series Discussion Papers with number 12/25.

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Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:yor:yorken:12/25
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics and Related Studies, University of York, York, YO10 5DD, United Kingdom
Phone: (0)1904 323776
Fax: (0)1904 323759
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  1. Banerjee, Anurag & Hung, Chi-Hsiou, 2011. "Informed momentum trading versus uninformed "naive" investors strategies," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(11), pages 3077-3089, November.
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  3. Jegadeesh, Narasimhan & Titman, Sheridan, 1993. " Returns to Buying Winners and Selling Losers: Implications for Stock Market Efficiency," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(1), pages 65-91, March.
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  5. Friesen, Geoffrey C. & Weller, Paul A. & Dunham, Lee M., 2009. "Price trends and patterns in technical analysis: A theoretical and empirical examination," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 1089-1100, June.
  6. Shynkevich, Andrei, 2012. "Performance of technical analysis in growth and small cap segments of the US equity market," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 193-208.
  7. Szakmary, Andrew C. & Shen, Qian & Sharma, Subhash C., 2010. "Trend-following trading strategies in commodity futures: A re-examination," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 409-426, February.
  8. Menkhoff, Lukas, 2010. "The Use of Technical Analysis by Fund Managers: International Evidence," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-446, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  9. Carhart, Mark M, 1997. " On Persistence in Mutual Fund Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 57-82, March.
  10. Fung, William & Hsieh, David A, 2001. "The Risk in Hedge Fund Strategies: Theory and Evidence from Trend Followers," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 14(2), pages 313-41.
  11. 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.
  12. Grinblatt, Mark & Moskowitz, Tobias J., 2004. "Predicting stock price movements from past returns: the role of consistency and tax-loss selling," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 541-579, March.
  13. Miffre, Joelle & Rallis, Georgios, 2007. "Momentum strategies in commodity futures markets," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 1863-1886, June.
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