Are All Currency Managers Equal?
Posted: 21 May 2019
Date Written: October 2010
We present a post-sample study of currency fund managers showing that alpha hunters and especially alpha generators are more effective in providing diversification benefits for a global equity portfolio than currency managers who earn beta returns from popular style strategies or managers with high total returns regardless of their source. Our study is unusual in that we measure the alpha from currency investing using a simple factor model rather than based on total excess returns, that we use rankings of currency managers from an earlier published study and examine their performance truly out-of-sample, and finally that our data reflect actual trades and returns earned by these managers, so the data are not contaminated by the usual biases in hedge fund databases. Our results suggest that a factor model approach to analyzing currency fund returns, coupled with the revealed degree of alpha and beta persistence in our data, offer institutional investors with large equity exposure a useful tool for improving their performance.
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