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Conditions for Survival: Changing Risk and the Performance of Hedge Fund Managers and CTAs



    (Yale School of Management, International Center for Finance)



    (NYU Stern School of Business)



    (PARADIGM Capital Management - General)

We investigate whether hedge fund and commodity trading advisor [CTA] return variance is conditional upon performance in the first half of the year. Our results are consistent with the Brown, Harlow and Starks (1994) findings for mutual fund managers. We find that good performers in the first half of the year reduce the volatility of their portfolios, but not vice-versa. The result that manager "variance strategies" depend upon relative ranking not distance from the high water mark threshold is unexpected, because CTA manager compensation is based on this absolute benchmark, rather than relative to other funds or indices. We conjecture that the threat of disappearance is a significant one for hedge fund managers and CTAs. An analysis of performance preceding departure from the database shows an association between disappearance and underperformance. An analysis of the annual hazard rates shows that performers in the lowest decile face a serious threat of closure. We find evidence to support the fact that survivorship and backfilling are both serious concerns in the use of hedge fund and CTA data.

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Paper provided by Yale School of Management in its series Yale School of Management Working Papers with number ysm10.

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Date of creation: 03 Feb 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ysm:somwrk:ysm10
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  1. Allan Timmermann & Asger Lunde, 1998. "The Hazards of Mutual Fund Underperformance: A Cox Regression Analysis," FMG Discussion Papers dp302, Financial Markets Group.
  2. Mark M. Carhart & Jennifer N. Carpenter & Anthony W. Lynch & David K. Musto, 2002. "Mutual Fund Survivorship," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(5), pages 1439-1463.
  3. William N. Goetzmann & Jonathan Ingersoll, Jr. & Stephen A. Ross, 1998. "High Water Marks," NBER Working Papers 6413, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Brown, Keith C & Harlow, W V & Starks, Laura T, 1996. " Of Tournaments and Temptations: An Analysis of Managerial Incentives in the Mutual Fund Industry," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(1), pages 85-110, March.
  5. 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.
  6. Brown, Stephen J, et al, 1992. "Survivorship Bias in Performance Studies," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 5(4), pages 553-80.
  7. Mark Grinblatt & Sheridan Titman, 1989. "Adverse Risk Incentives and the Design of Performance-Based Contracts," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(7), pages 807-822, July.
  8. Darryll Hendricks & Jayendu Patel & Richard Zeckhauser, 1997. "The J-Shape Of Performance Persistence Given Survivorship Bias," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(2), pages 161-166, May.
  9. Starks, Laura T., 1987. "Performance Incentive Fees: An Agency Theoretic Approach," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 22(01), pages 17-32, March.
  10. Stephen J. Brown & William N. Goetzmann & Roger G. Ibbotson & Stephen A. Ross, 1997. "Rejoinder: The J-Shape Of Performance Persistence Given Survivorship Bias," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(2), pages 167-170, May.
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