Low-Risk Effect: Evidence, Explanations and Approaches to Enhancing the Performance of Low-Risk Investment Strategies
Mayank Joshipura and Nehal Joshipura (2020). Low-risk effect: evidence, explanations and approaches to enhancing the performance of low-risk investment strategies. Investment Management and Financial Innovations, 17(2), 128-145. doi:10.21511/imfi.17(2).2020.11
19 Pages Posted: 23 Jun 2020
Date Written: May 29, 2020
The authors offer evidence for low-risk effect from the Indian stock market using the top-500 liquid stocks listed on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) of India for the period from January 2004 to December 2018. Finance theory predicts a positive risk-return relationship. However, empirical studies show that low-risk stocks outperform high-risk stocks on a risk-adjusted basis, and it is called low-risk anomaly or low-risk effect. Persistence of such an anomaly is one of the biggest mysteries in modern finance. The authors find strong evidence in favor of a low-risk effect with a flat (negative) risk-return relationship based on the simple average (compounded) returns. It is documented that low-risk effect is independent of size, value, and momentum effects, and it is robust after controlling for variables like liquidity and ticket-size of stocks. It is further documented that low-risk effect is a combination of stock and sector level effects, and it cannot be captured fully by concentrated sector exposure. By integrating the momentum effect with the low-volatility effect, the performance of a low-risk investment strategy can be improved both in absolute and risk-adjusted terms. The paper contributed to the body of knowledge by offering evidence for: a) robustness of low-risk effect for liquidity and ticket-size of stocks and sector exposure, b) how one can benefit from combining momentum and low-volatility effects to create a long-only investment strategy that offers higher risk-adjusted and absolute returns than plain vanilla, long-only, low-risk investment strategy.
Keywords: asset pricing, emerging markets, lottery effect, market efficiency, momentum, stocks, volatility effect
JEL Classification: G11, G12, G14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation