Do Hedge Funds Destroy Investor Value?
The Cost of Capital for Alternative Investments
- J Jurek and E Stafford
- A version of the paper can be found here.
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We document that the risks and pre-fee returns of broad hedge fund indices can be accurately matched with simple equity index put writing strategies, which provide monthly liquidity and complete transparency over their state-contingent payoff profiles. This nonlinear risk exposure combines with large allocations, typical among investors in alternatives, to produce required rates of return that are more than twice as large as those implied by popular linear factor models. Despite earning annualized excess returns over 6% between 1996 and 2010, many hedge fund investors have not covered their proper cost of capital.
The authors show that broad hedge fund returns can be captured via a simple equity index put writing strategy. If you’d like to implement a form of this strategy, CBOE has an index on it: http://www.cboe.com/micro/put/. You’ll have to do your own research on the product, but seems interesting. Here is the CBOE backtest on the strategy:
The authors post a great summary of various hedge fund returns:
How does the replication work?
Wow. Replicated by a simple model. Gonna be harder and harder to justify “2/20” these days. Thoughts?
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Definitions of common statistics used in our analysis are available here (towards the bottom)