Should Hedge Funds Deviate from the Benchmark?
41 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2017 Last revised: 10 Mar 2019
Date Written: March 4, 2019
We examine the relationship between deviating from the benchmark and subsequent performance for hedge funds. We propose a simple new measure of benchmark deviations, termed the Dispersion Contribution Index (DCI), which is based on a fund's return-distance from the mean return of same-style funds. We find that funds which deviate the most from their benchmark tend to underperform relative to their less distinctive peers, after accounting for their idiosyncratic characteristics. This relative underperformance stems primarily from the higher risk exposure associated with pursuing a unique strategy. Our findings are robust to a wide array of additional tests.
Keywords: Hedge funds; performance; benchmark deviations; managerial skill
JEL Classification: G10, G11, G23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation