Factor Investing in the Corporate Bond Market

49 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2014 Last revised: 30 May 2024

See all articles by Patrick Houweling

Patrick Houweling

Robeco Asset Management

Jeroen van Zundert

Cubist Systematic Strategies

Date Written: September 26, 2016


We offer empirical evidence that size, low-risk, value, and momentum factor portfolios generate economically meaningful and statistically significant alphas in the corporate bond market. Because the correlations between the single-factor portfolios are low, a combined multi-factor portfolio benefits from diversification among the factors: It has a lower tracking error and a higher information ratio than the individual factors. Our results are robust to transaction costs, alternative factor definitions, alternative portfolio construction settings, and constructing factor portfolios on a subsample of liquid bonds. Finally, allocating to corporate bond factors provides added value beyond allocating to equity factors in a multi-asset context.

Keywords: corporate bonds, factor premiums, strategic asset allocation, size, low-risk, value, momentum

JEL Classification: G11, G12, G14, E44

Suggested Citation

Houweling, Patrick and van Zundert, Jeroen, Factor Investing in the Corporate Bond Market (September 26, 2016). Financial Analysts Journal, 2017, Vol. 73, No. 2, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2516322 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2516322

Patrick Houweling (Contact Author)

Robeco Asset Management ( email )

Rotterdam, 3011 AG

Jeroen Van Zundert

Cubist Systematic Strategies ( email )

55 Hudson Yards
10th Floo
New York, NY 10001
United States

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