Timing the Market with a Combination of Moving Averages
42 Pages Posted: 6 Sep 2017
Date Written: September 2017
A combination of simple moving average trading strategies with several window lengths delivers a greater average return and skewness as well as a lower variance and kurtosis compared with buying and holding the underlying asset using daily returns of value‐weighted US decile portfolios sorted by market size, book‐to‐market, momentum, and standard deviation as well as more than 1000 individual US stocks. The combination moving average (CMA) strategy generates risk‐adjusted returns of 2% to 16% per year before transaction costs. The performance of the CMA 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 market dividend yield, short‐term interest rates, and market conditions, can explain some of the abnormal returns. Standard market timing tests reveal ample evidence regarding the timing ability of the CMA strategy.
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