Another Look at Idiosyncratic Volatility and Expected Returns
Journal of Investment Management, Vol. 9, No. 4, 2011, 26-51
48 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2009 Last revised: 19 May 2012
Date Written: January 1, 2009
We conduct comprehensive analyses of the return characteristics of stock portfolios sorted by idiosyncratic volatility. We show that the relationship between idiosyncratic volatility and expected stock returns depends on whether the portfolio is composed of stocks with extreme performance and whether the returns are computed over January and non-January months. The dominance of loser stocks in December and a reversal effect in the subsequent month lead to a positive relation between idiosyncratic volatility and portfolio returns in January. Whereas for other months, the impact of past winner stocks dominates and a negative relation is observed due to the return reversal of these winner stocks. Our study contributes to the understanding of how January effect and short-term return reversal can lead to different relation between idiosyncratic volatility and expected returns.
Keywords: idiosyncratic volatility, return reversals
JEL Classification: G12, G14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation