Hedge Fund Styles and Macroeconomic Uncertainty
56 Pages Posted: 31 May 2016
Date Written: May 30, 2016
We examine the dynamic trading strategies implemented by hedge fund managers using a Kalman filter. We investigate the risk drivers of dynamic trades, examining which macroeconomic variables strongly lead the time variation in fund trades. We show that hedge funds control the intensity of their exposures according to economic uncertainty and that differences between up- and down-market regimes can be observed. Commonly, Hedge funds tend to dislike high-dividend paying stocks. Besides, all hedge fund styles are shown to display pro-cyclical exposures towards directional equity factors as well as credit and liquidity risks. Small growth stocks, however, are revealed to be crisis investments whose allocation increases with unemployment, inflation or volatility. As volatility increases, the value of growth options embedded into growth stocks indeed increases. Growth stocks are shown to hedge market reversals and volatility. The outperformance of growth companies in recessions might also relate to their cost flexibility.
Keywords: Kalman filter, Markov switching, macroeconomic factors, dynamic betas
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