Market Timing with Moving Averages
39 Pages Posted: 3 Sep 2015
Date Written: September 2015
I present evidence that a moving average (MA) trading strategy has a greater average return and skewness as well as a lower variance compared to buying and holding the underlying asset using monthly returns of value‐weighted US decile portfolios sorted by market size, book‐to‐market, and momentum, and seven international markets as well as 18,000 individual US stocks. The MA strategy generates risk‐adjusted returns of 3–7% per year after transaction costs. The performance of the MA strategy is driven largely by the volatility of stock returns and resembles the payoffs of an at‐the‐money protective put on the underlying buy‐and‐hold return. Conditional factor models with macroeconomic variables, especially the default premium, can explain some of the abnormal returns. Standard market timing tests reveal ample evidence regarding the timing ability of the MA strategy.
JEL Classification: G11, G12, G14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation