About a month ago we posted on the robustness of the Novy-Marx profitability factor, which is embedded in the Fama-French 5-factor. We also highlighted potential weaknesses in the 5-factor model across international markets.
Fama and French have responded with their own analysis on the 5-factor model in international markets:
Average stock returns for North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific increase with the book-to-market ratio (B/M) and profitability and are negatively related to investment. These patterns are strong for small stocks but weaker for big stocks. For Japan the relation between average returns and B/M is strong in all Size groups, but average returns show little relation to profitability or investment. Especially for big stocks, a five-factor model that adds profitability and investment factors to the three-factor model of Fama and French (1993) largely absorbs the patterns in average returns. As in Fama and French (2015a,b), the model’s prime problem is failure to capture fully the low average returns of small stocks whose returns behave like those of unprofitable firms that invest aggressively.
After serving as a Captain in the United States Marine Corps, Dr. Gray earned an MBA and a PhD in finance from the University of Chicago where he studied under Nobel Prize Winner Eugene Fama. Next, Wes took an academic job in his wife’s hometown of Philadelphia and worked as a finance professor at Drexel University. Dr. Gray’s interest in bridging the research gap between academia and industry led him to found Alpha Architect, an asset management firm dedicated to an impact mission of empowering investors through education. He is a contributor to multiple industry publications and regularly speaks to professional investor groups across the country. Wes has published multiple academic papers and four books, including Embedded (Naval Institute Press, 2009), Quantitative Value (Wiley, 2012), DIY Financial Advisor (Wiley, 2015), and Quantitative Momentum (Wiley, 2016).
Dr. Gray currently resides in Palmas Del Mar Puerto Rico with his wife and three children. He recently finished the Leadville 100 ultramarathon race and promises to make better life decisions in the future.
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