Sat, Jan 20, 2018
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. Legal - Former Och Ziff hedge fund executive indicted for fraud in Africa investment scheme, prosecutor says, Hedge fund blasts defense of Puerto Rico restructuring law[more]

    Former Och Ziff hedge fund executive indicted for fraud in Africa investment scheme, prosecutor says From CNBC.com: A former hedge fund executive faces federal charges for defrauding a UK-based charity over investments in Africa, according to a grand jury indictment made public Wednesday.

  2. U.S. economy, inflation and alternative investments to dominate 2018 markets, says family office Wilmington Trust[more]

    Komfie Manalo, Opalesque Asia: The emergence of a late-cycle economy in the U.S., the mystery of inflation and growth from a domestic and global perspective, and the potential for alternative investments to prosper against a backdrop of rich valuations, low yields, and higher volatility are the t

  3. Performance - Some hedge funds deliver double-digit gains for 2017, Brevan Howard's hedge fund suffers biggest annual loss in 2017, Crispin Odey's flagship hedge fund plummeted about 20% in 2017, Profits fall 90% at ex-Morgan Stanley banker's hedge fund, Fannie-Freddie overhaul might mint hedge fund riches, losses[more]

    Some hedge funds deliver double-digit gains for 2017 From Reuters/Investing.com: A handful of hedge funds ended 2017 with double digit returns, their investors said, at a time the $3 trillion industry took in fresh money and posted its best returns in years, industry data show. Act

  4. Investing - Hedge funds start 2018 with record $19 billion bet on the euro, Hedge fund Kora Management invests in Satin Creditcare[more]

    Hedge funds start 2018 with record $19 billion bet on the euro From Reuters.com: Hedge funds have kicked off 2018 with their biggest bet ever on the euro rising, a clear vote of confidence in the single currency but, with positioning so stretched, one which could backfire in the near ter

  5. News Briefs - Mobius to retire from Franklin Templeton, Authorities decrypt smart phone of Princeton grad charged with killing Manhattan hedge fund dad, Investigators seize (more) antiques from hedge-fund billionaire Michael Steinhardt's collection[more]

    Mobius to retire from Franklin Templeton Emerging markets pioneer Mark Mobius will be stepping down as executive chairman of the Templeton Emerging Markets Group (TEMG) and formally retire from Franklin Templeton on 31 January. He will also be relinquishing his post as portfolio manager