Momentum Investing Research

Novel explanations for risk-based option momentum

In this paper, we propose a cross-sectional option momentum strategy that is based on the risk component of delta-hedged option returns. We find strong evidence of risk continuation in option returns.

How factor exposure changes over time: a study of Information Decay

Factor strategies need to be rebalanced in order to maintain their factor exposure. But different factors decay at different rates and this affects how they should be rebalanced. For example, momentum needs to be rebalanced more than value. This study digs into these questions.

Combining Reversals with Time-Series Momentum Strategies

Jiadong Liu and Fotis Papailias contribute to the momentum literature with their study “Time Series Reversal in Trend-Following Strategies,” published in the January 2023 issue of “European Financial Management,” in which they examined the reversal property of various financial assets.

Does Momentum work in Option Markets?

This paper explores the question of option momentum by examining what the research says about the performance of option investments across different stocks.

Momentum Factor Investing: 30 years of Out of Sample Data

In this article, the author examines the research published over the last 30 years on momentum and its theoretical credibility. One of the original momentum articles was published by Jegadeesh and Titman in 1993, and is considered the seminal work on the topic. The research review contained in this publication begins with the 1993 work and confines itself to only the highest quality journals among the plethora of work that has been published on momentum.

Mind the Momentum Gap to Improve Performance

This article discusses the academic research about the Momentum Gap and the role that its predictive potential may have in reducing momentum crashes, hence possibly improving performance.

Is Momentum a Separate Factor?

We find that factor momentum concentrates in factors that explain more of the cross section of returns and that it is not incidental to individual stock momentum: momentum-neutral factors display more momentum.

Alpha from Short-Term Signals

Short-term alpha signals are generally dismissed in traditional asset pricing models, primarily due to market friction concerns. However, this paper demonstrates that investors can obtain a significant net alpha by combining signals applied on a liquid global universe with simple buy/sell trading rules. The composite model consists of short-term reversal, short-term momentum, short-term analyst revisions, short-term risk, and monthly seasonality signals. The resulting alpha is present across regions, translates into long-only applications, is robust to incorporating implementation lags of several days, and is uncorrelated to traditional Fama-French factors.

What Drives Momentum and Reversal?

How information affects asset prices is of fundamental importance. Public information flows through news, while private information flows through trading. We study how stock prices respond to these two information flows in the context of two major asset pricing anomalies— short-term reversal and momentum. Firms release news primarily during non-trading hours, which is reflected in overnight returns. While investors trade primarily intraday, which is reflected in intraday returns. Using a novel dataset that spans almost a century, we find that portfolios formed on past intraday returns display strong reversal and momentum. In contrast, portfolios formed on past overnight returns display no reversal or momentum. These results are consistent with underreaction theories of momentum, where investors underreact to the information conveyed by the trades of other investors.

Avoiding Momentum Crashes

Across markets, momentum is one of the most prominent anomalies and leads to high risk-adjusted returns. On the downside, momentum exhibits huge tail risk as there are short but persistent periods of highly negative returns. Crashes occur in rebounding bear markets, when momentum displays negative betas and momentum volatility is high. Based on ex-ante calculations of these risk measures we construct a crash indicator that effectively isolates momentum crashes from momentum bull markets. An implementable trading strategy that combines both systematic and momentum-specific risk more than doubles the Sharpe ratio of original momentum and outperforms existing risk management strategies over the 1928–2020 period, in 5 and 10-year sub-samples, and an international momentum portfolio.

Momentum Everywhere, Including in Factors

Managed portfolios that exploit positive first-order autocorrelation in monthly excess returns of equity factor portfolios produce large alphas and gains in Sharpe ratios. We document this finding for factor portfolios formed on the broad market, size, value, momentum, investment, prof- itability, and volatility. The value-added induced by factor management via short-term momentum is a robust empirical phenomenon that survives transaction costs and carries over to multi-factor portfolios. The novel strategy established in this work compares favorably to well-known timing strategies that employ e.g. factor volatility or factor valuation. For the majority of factors, our strategies appear successful especially in recessions and times of crisis.

Combining Factors in Multifactor Portfolios

Reschenhofer’s findings demonstrate the important role that portfolio construction rules (such as creating efficient buy and hold ranges or imposing screens that exclude stocks with negative momentum) play in determining not only the risk and expected return of a portfolio but how efficiently the strategy can be implemented (considering the impact of turnover and trading costs)—wide (narrow) thresholds reduce (increase) portfolio turnover and transactions costs, thereby increasing after-cost returns and Sharpe ratios. His findings also provide support for multiple characteristics-based scorings to form long-only factor portfolios, encouraging the combination of slow-moving characteristics (such as value, investment and/or profitability) conditional on fast moving characteristics (such as momentum), to reduce portfolio turnover and transactions cost. Fund families such as AQR, Avantis, Bridgeway and Dimensional use such an approach, integrating multiple characteristics into their portfolios conditional on momentum signals.

Can Machine Learning Identify Future Outperforming Active Equity Funds?

We show, using machine learning, that fund characteristics can consistently differentiate high from low-performing mutual funds, as well as identify funds with net-of-fees abnormal returns. Fund momentum and fund flow are the most important predictors of future risk-adjusted fund performance, while characteristics of the stocks that funds hold are not predictive. Returns of predictive long-short portfolios are higher following a period of high sentiment or a good state of the macro-economy. Our estimation with neural networks enables us to uncover novel and substantial interaction effects between sentiment and both fund flow and fund momentum.

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