Institutions Trading Against Anomalies: Are Their Trades Informed?

By |May 12th, 2022|Relative Sentiment, Research Insights, Factor Investing, Larry Swedroe, Academic Research Insight|

An interesting question is do the trades of the more sophisticated institutional investors against anomalies provide information on returns? To answer that question, Yangru Wu and Weike Xu, authors of the study “Changes in Ownership Breadth and Capital Market Anomalies,” published in the February 2022 issue of The Journal of Portfolio Management, examined whether the entries and exits of informed institutional investors (or ownership breadth changes) interact with the aforementioned 11 anomaly signals studied by Stambaugh and Yuan can be used to improve the performance of anomaly-based strategies. They explained that they emphasized institutions’ new entries and exits because they could be triggered by private information and correlated with future earnings news, thereby capturing useful information regarding future stock returns. To determine if the trades of the institutional investors were informed, they sorted all stocks into 10 decile portfolios based on quarterly changes in ownership breadth. Their data sample covered all NYSE/AMEX/Nasdaq common stocks from May 1981 to May 2018.

What Relative Sentiment Says About Market Regime Change

By |January 25th, 2022|Relative Sentiment, Research Insights, Factor Investing|

The weight of the evidence suggests we recently exited a secular bull market driven by high real earnings growth and have entered a secular bear market driven by high inflation. The takeaway is that while investors have become highly conditioned to buy the dip, the current dip is occurring with relative sentiment significantly bearish (i.e., retail likes equities more than institutions). Historically, that has not been a great time to buy equities.

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