Conditions for Survival: Changing Risk and the Performance of Hedge Fund Managers and CTAs
WILLIAM N. GOETZMANN, Yale University
STEPHEN J. BROWN, New York University
JAMES M. PARK, PARADIGM Capital Management
November 15, 1997
We investigate whether hedge fund and commodity trading advisor [CTA] return variance is conditional upon performance in the first half of the year. Our results are consistent with the Brown, Harlow and Starks (1994) findings for mutual fund managers. We find that good performers in the first half of the year reduce the volatility of their portfolios, but not vice-versa. The result that manager "variance strategies" depend upon relative ranking not distance from the high water mark threshold is unexpected, because CTA manager compensation is based on this absolute benchmark, rather than relative to other funds or indices. We conjecture that the threat of disappearance is a significant one for hedge fund managers and CTAs. An analysis of performance preceding departure from the database shows an association between disappearance and underperformance. An analysis of the annual hazard rates shows that performers in the lowest decile face a serious threat of closure. We find evidence to support the fact that survivorship and backfilling are both serious concerns in the use of hedge fund and CTA data.
On Taking the 'Alternative' Route: Risks, Rewards, Style and Performance Persistence of Hedge Funds
VIKAS AGARWAL, London Business School
NARAYAN Y. NAIK, London Business School
Using a new database of hedge funds, this paper provides a comprehensive analysis of the risk-return characteristics, risk exposures, style analysis and performance persistence of various hedge fund strategies. We conduct a mean-variance analysis to find that a combination of alternative investments and passive indexing provides significantly better risk-return tradeoff than passively investing in the different asset classes. Using a broad asset class factor model, we find that the hedge fund strategies outperform the benchmark by a range of 6% to 15% per year. We infer the significant risk exposures of different hedge fund strategies using generalized style analysis and find results consistent with their investment objectives. Finally, using parametric and non-parametric methods, we examine persistence in the performance of hedge fund managers. We find a reasonable degree of persistence which seems to be attributable more to the losers continuing to be losers instead of winners continuing to be winners.