Medallion Fund: The Ultimate Counterexample?

Journal of Portfolio Management, Vol. 46, No. 4, 2020, https://jpm.pm-research.com/content/46/4/156

Posted: 7 Jan 2020

See all articles by Bradford Cornell

Bradford Cornell

Anderson Graduate School of Management, UCLA

Date Written: December 16, 2019

Abstract

The performance of Renaissance Technologies’ Medallion fund provides the ultimate counterexample to the hypothesis of market efficiency. Over the period from the start of trading in 1988 to 2018, $100 invested in Medallion would have grown to $398.7 million, representing a compound return of 63.3%. Returns of this magnitude over such an extended period far outstrip anything reported in the academic literature. Furthermore, during the entire 31-year period, Medallion never had a negative return despite the dot.com crash and the financial crisis. Despite this remarkable performance, the fund’s market beta and factor loadings were all negative, so that Medallion’s performance cannot be interpreted as a premium for risk bearing. To date, there is no adequate rational market explanation for this performance.

Keywords: Medallion, Investment Performance, Market Efficiency

JEL Classification: g12, g14

Suggested Citation

Cornell, Bradford, Medallion Fund: The Ultimate Counterexample? (December 16, 2019). Journal of Portfolio Management, Vol. 46, No. 4, 2020, https://jpm.pm-research.com/content/46/4/156. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3504766 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3504766

Bradford Cornell (Contact Author)

Anderson Graduate School of Management, UCLA ( email )

Pasadena, CA 91125
United States
626 833-9978 (Phone)

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