Dynamic Indexing and Allocation: Do they Dominate Simple Static Indexing?
23 Pages Posted: 22 Sep 2020
Date Written: September 13, 2020
Andrew Lo in his book, Adaptive Markets, advocates an investment product that he names a “dynamic index.” He has facilitated the operation of a variant of this dynamic indexation, “dynamic allocation,” by founding a company, AlphaSimplex. Another dynamic investment is GMO’s Benchmark Free Allocation fund. We assess the role for dynamic investing with the AlphaSimplex funds and the GMO fund. The dynamic funds have higher expense ratios and turnover than static index funds do. Do the strategies of these funds add value, and if so is dynamic investing magical enough to overcome these hurdles? Do dynamic investments dominate a simple portfolio of static index funds with similar style rebalanced regularly whether risk adjusted or not and with or without differential expenses stripped away? We also clarify the interpretation of the Fama-French multi-factor models, generalize them, and discover the equivalence between the Fama-French and Sharpe (1992) approaches to mutual fund assessment. On average AphaSimplex funds underreturn portfolios of Vanguard index funds with the same style by 2.54 % age points per year. Some of that is because of expense ratios. Gross of expense ratios the average underreturn is 1.51 % age points/year.
Keywords: Mutual funds, index investing, dynamic indexing, alpha
JEL Classification: G1
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation