Can Hedge-Fund Returns Be Replicated?: The Linear Case
Babson College - Finance Division
Andrew W. Lo
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Journal of Investment Management, Vol. 5, No. 2, Second Quarter 2007
In contrast to traditional investments such as stocks and bonds, hedge-fund returns have more complex risk exposures that yield additional and complementary sources of risk premia. This raises the possibility of creating passive replicating portfolios or clones using liquid exchange-traded instruments that provide similar risk exposures at lower cost and with greater transparency. Using monthly returns data for 1,610 hedge funds in the TASS database from 1986 to 2005, we estimate linear factor models for individual hedge funds using six common factors, and measure the proportion of the funds' expected returns and volatility that are attributable to such factors. For certain hedge-fund style categories, we and that a significant fraction of both can be captured by common factors corresponding to liquid exchange-traded instruments. While the performance of linear clones is often inferior to their hedge-fund counterparts, they perform well enough to warrant serious consideration as passive, transparent, scalable, and lower-cost alternatives to hedge funds.
Keywords: Hedge fund, portfolio management, risk management
Date posted: May 30, 2007