Behavioral Finance

Cut Your Losses and Let Profits Run?

Be careful before acting on what is considered to be conventional wisdom. Make sure it’s supported by empirical evidence. In this case, the evidence makes clear that “cut your losses and let your profits run” should not be conventional wisdom.

Band of Brothers Attacking Short Sellers: Game Stop for Hedge Funds

Advisors and investors should be aware that fund families that invest systematically have found ways to incorporate the research findings on the limits to arbitrage and the evolving changes we have discussed to improve returns over those of a pure index replication strategy. It seems likely this will become increasingly important, as the markets have become less liquid, increasing the limits to arbitrage and allowing for more overpricing.

Factor Investors: Momentum is Everywhere

The Jegadeesh and Titman (1993) paper on momentum established that an equity trading strategy consisting of buying past winners and selling past losers, reliably produced risk-adjusted excess returns.  The Jegadeesh results have been replicated in international markets and across asset classes. As this evidence challenged and contradicted widely accepted notions of weak-form market efficiency, the academic community took notice and started churning out research.  As a result, a very large number of academic studies were published on momentum. The article summarized here has conveniently summarized 47 articles deemed as the highest quality and published in either the Journal of Finance, the Review of Financial Studies, or the Journal of Financial Economics, all three considered premier journals in the finance discipline. It is difficult to understate the importance of having a well-curated summary of momentum research. Keep it in your library.

Do Short-Term Factor Strategies Survive Transaction Costs?

Short term return anomalies are generally dismissed in the academic literature "because they seemingly do not survive after accounting for market frictions.” In this research, short term “factors” are taken seriously and the authors argue the standard parameters may not apply for short horizons.

Female execs bring more accuracy to analysts’ earnings forecasts

The results of this research extend the literature in a number of areas including: the analyst forecast literature; the literature on behavioral accounting and finance with respect to corporate decision-making all in the context of gender; and the dominant role of the CEO on information transparency.

Do we invest like our family members?

This study adds evidence to the literature of social interaction by confirming empirically that investors acquire investment ideas from their family members.

Individual Investor Behavior: What Does the Research Say?

Many market commentators, financial advisors, and professionals are quick to point that that individuals are terrible investors. Of course, it's not exactly clear that professionals are much better than individuals, but it is certainly true that most investors should simply buy low-cost index funds (or factor funds!) and gets their hands out of the cook jar. What's nice about this paper is that the assertions that individuals are poor investors -- and exactly why they fail to do well -- are backed by peer-reviewed research. One can leverage these insights to help investors find solutions that will solve their problems and put them in a better position to be successful.

Short Sellers Are Informed Investors

Using multiple short sale measures, we examine the predictive power of short sales for future stock returns in 38 countries from July 2006 to December 2014. We find that the days-to-cover ratio and the utilization ratio measures have the most robust predictive power for future stock returns in the global capital market. Our results display significant cross-country and cross-firm differences in the predictive power of alternative short sale measures. The predictive power of shorts is stronger in countries with non-prohibitive short sale regulations and for stocks with relatively low liquidity, high shorting fees, and low price efficiency.

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