Momentum Crashes

52 Pages Posted: 2 Sep 2014 Last revised: 6 Jan 2015

See all articles by Kent D. Daniel

Kent D. Daniel

Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Tobias J. Moskowitz

Yale University, Yale SOM; AQR Capital; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 5 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 2014

Abstract

Despite their strong positive average returns across numerous asset classes, momentum strategies can experience infrequent and persistent strings of negative returns. These momentum crashes are partly forecastable. They occur in "panic" states - following market declines and when market volatility is high - and are contemporaneous with market rebounds. We show that the low ex-ante expected returns in panic states are consistent with a conditionally high premium attached to the option-like payoffs of past losers. An implementable dynamic momentum strategy based on forecasts of momentum's mean and variance approximately doubles the alpha and Sharpe Ratio of a static momentum strategy, and is not explained by other factors. These results are robust across multiple time periods, international equity markets, and other asset classes.

Suggested Citation

Daniel, Kent D. and Moskowitz, Tobias J., Momentum Crashes (August 2014). NBER Working Paper No. w20439. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2490306

Kent D. Daniel (Contact Author)

Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://kentdaniel.net/

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Tobias J. Moskowitz

Yale University, Yale SOM ( email )

New Haven, CT 06520
United States

HOME PAGE: http://som.yale.edu/tobias-j-moskowitz

AQR Capital ( email )

Greenwich, CT
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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