Fri, Oct 31, 2014
A A A
Welcome Guest
Free Trial RSS
Get FREE trial access to our award winning publications
Industry Updates

EDHEC-Risk study finds no theoretical or empirical justification for cap-weighted indices

Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Opalesque Industry Update - After the financial crisis and the accompanying falls in the stock markets, many commentators have questioned the appropriateness of tracking cap-weighted indices. These indices are particularly inefficient and, through their momentum properties, favour the emergence of speculative bubbles.

New research from the EDHEC-Risk Institute shows that financial theory, despite widely-held views to the contrary, does not support investment in these types of indices. It is therefore urgent for investors to seek alternatives to these indices which are justified by neither fact nor theory.

The three main conclusions of the research are the following:

1.A cap-weighted stock market index is not the market portfolio of financial theory (the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) theory is often evoked to show that cap-weighted stock market indices are efficient portfolios and attractive investments). That it is not is clear from the choices made in empirical studies that attempt to come up with reasonable proxies for the market portfolio. These studies attach great importance to including many more stocks than indices do, and their proxies of the market portfolio include bonds, real estate, and non-tradable assets such as human capital.

2.Even if it were possible to construct and hold the market portfolio, the theory does not predict that the market portfolio is efficient unless we make highly unrealistic assumptions. In fact, the authors of the seminal academic research in the 1950s and 1960s, Harry Markowitz and William Sharpe, have themselves emphasised (Sharpe (1991) and Markowitz (2005)) that the market portfolio may not be efficient in a more realistic setting.

3.In view of these arguments, financial theory alone does not justify the current practice of cap-weighting. In fact, from a theoretical perspective, cap-weighted stock market indices seem to offer no particular advantage.

The EDHEC-Risk Institute Publication, “Does Finance Theory Make the Case for Capitalisation-Weighted Indexing?” can be downloaded by pressing [Ctrl] and clicking on the following link: Source

- FG

What do you think?

   Use "anonymous" as my name    |   Alert me via email on new comments   |   
Today's Exclusives Today's Other Voices More Exclusives
Previous Opalesque Exclusives                                  
More Other Voices
Previous Other Voices                                               
Access Alternative Market Briefing


  • Top Forwarded
  • Top Tracked
  • Top Searched
  1. Macks aim to raise $750m for real estate debt fund[more]

    From Therealdeal.com: Father-son duo William and Richard Mack and former Blackstone Group managing director Peter Sotoloff are starting a new real estate debt fund. Together, the trio hopes to raise more than $750 million for the private equity fund, according to the Wall Street Journal. The fund wi

  2. Commodities - Oil wreaking havoc on small-cap energy stocks sliding 36%[more]

    From Bloomberg.com: Owning almost anything in the U.S. stock market has been a losing proposition since September. Owning smaller energy companies has been a catastrophe. Hercules Offshore Inc. and Resolute Energy Corp. are among 19 oil-and-gas equities in the Russell 2000 Index that lost more than

  3. Investing - Hedge funds favor equity long/short, Strategic bond managers hedge against further high yield sell-off[more]

    Hedge funds favor equity long/short From Securitieslendingtimes.com: Equity long/short strategies will generate good returns for hedge funds in the future, according to a panel at this year’s Risk Management Association Conference on Securities Lending in Naples, Florida. Panellists Sand

  4. Legal - Ex-hedge fund analyst weeps as judge hands down 5 year sentence, Former Columbus investment manager Steven P. Moore indicted on theft charges, SEBI confirms ban for Hong Kong hedge fund, SEC announces enforcement action against compliance officer[more]

    Ex-hedge fund analyst weeps as judge hands down 5 year sentence From Hereisthecity.com: An ex-hedge fund analyst was sentenced to 5 years in prison for his role in insider-trading scheme. The New York Post reports that former hedge fund analyst Matthew Teeple was sentenced Thursday to fiv

  5. Manager Profile - Seth Klarman: Lessons for retail and institutional investors[more]

    From Valuewalk.com: Seth Klarman is virtually unknown outside value circles, despite his impressive record and value of assets under management. On average Baupost has returned 19% p.a. despite holding a large portion of its assets in cash. During the financial crisis, Seth Klarman’s funds lost some