Understanding the Nature of the Risks and the Source of the Rewards to Momentum Investing
Posted: 25 Oct 2000
Buying recent winners and shorting recent losers guarantees time varying factor exposures in accordance with the performance of common risk factors during the ranking period. Adjusted for this dynamic risk exposure, momentum profits are remarkably stable across subperiods of the entire post 1926 era. Factor models can explain ninety-five percent of winner or loser return variability, but cannot explain their mean returns. Momentum strategies which base winner or loser status on stock-specific return components are more profitable than those based on total returns. Neither industry effects nor cross-sectional differences in expected returns are the primary cause of the momentum phenomenon.
Keywords: Factor loadings, hedging, momentum
JEL Classification: G11, G12
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