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Decentralized Finance, Crypto Funds, and Value Creation in Tokenized Firms

Written by: Douglas Cumming, Niclas Dombrowski, Wolfgang Drobetz, Paul P. Momtaz Abstract Crypto Funds (CFs) represent a novel investor type in entrepreneurial finance. CFs intermediate Decentralized Finance (DeFi) markets by pooling contributions from crowd-investors and investing in tokenized startups, combining sophisticated venture- and hedge-style investment strategies. We compile a unique dataset combining token-based crowdfunding (or Initial Coin Offerings, ICOs) data with proprietary performance data of CFs. CF-backed startup ventures obtain higher ICO valuations, outperform their peers in the long run, and benefit from token price appreciation around CF investment disclosure in the secondary market. Moreover, CFs beat the market by roughly 2.5% per month. Their outperformance is persistent, suggesting that CFs deliver abnormal returns because of skill, rather than luck. These performance effects for CFs and CF backed startups are driven by a fund’s investor network centrality. Overall, our study paves the way for research on what some refer to as the “crypto fund revolution” in entrepreneurial finance.…

Hedge Fund Investment in ETFs

Written by: Douglas Cumming, Pedro Monteiro Abstract This paper examines the causes and consequences of hedge fund investments in exchange traded funds (ETFs) using U.S. data from 1998 to 2018. The data indicate that transient hedge funds and quasi-indexer hedge funds are substantially more likely to invest in ETFs. Unexpected hedge fund inflows [outflows] cause a rise [reduction] in ETF investments, and the economic significance of unexpected flow is more than twice as large for transient than quasi-indexer hedge funds. Expected hedge fund flows are statistically unrelated to ETF investments on average. When ETF investment is accompanied by an increase in unexpected flow, hedge fund alphas are higher. When ETF investment is accompanied by an increase in expected flow, hedge fund alphas are lower. The data are consistent with the view that hedge fund ETF investment unrelated to unexpected flow is an agency cost of delegated portfolio management.…

The All-Weather Portfolio Approach: The Holy Grail of Portfolio Management

Written by: Youssef Louraoui Abstract This research article aims to analyze the All-Weather strategy advocated by the very famous hedge fund manager Ray Dalio. Through an analysis of nearly 10 year of market data, we have selected ETF funds to replicate the investment principle by using a classic approach. We present the different results that suggest an overall performance that converge with the original analysis proposed in the Bridgewater Associates (2009) research paper that shows the benefits of the All Weather approach on the overall portfolio risk/return trade-off.…

Which Investors Drive Factor Returns?

Written by: Morad Elsaify Abstract Different investors hold different portfolios. To explain this phenomenon, I build a model in which investors have different information processing capabilities. The model predicts that highly capable investors specialize in factor timing, hold more volatile and dispersed portfolios, and reduce average risk premia and volatility. Using novel empirical measures of investors’ capabilities and information choices, I find that hedge funds are the most capable investors, while insurance companies and pension funds are the least. Variation in factor timing ability is the primary driver of these differences. Investors’ portfolios exhibit properties consistent with the model’s predictions. Using a demand system approach, I show that hedge funds have the greatest per-dollar impact on expected returns, shrinking expected returns in the factor zoo by nearly 40% per $1 trillion of invested capital.…

Anti-Herding by Hedge Funds, Idiosyncratic Volatility and Expected Returns

Written by: Sara Ali, Ihsan Badshah, Riza Demirer Abstract Utilizing a dataset of 1,899 U.S. hedge funds, we present evidence of anti-herding behaviour among hedge fund managers in the U.S. Hedge funds anti-herd primarily based on fundamental information and irrespective of market volatility and credit deterioration conditions although funding illiquidity has a stronger effect on the formation of anti-herding behaviour across the majority of hedge fund schemes analysed. Interestingly, however, we observe a greater deal of heterogeneity across the different hedge fund categories, particularly during crisis periods, with certain hedge fund schemes including Convertible Arbitrage, Equity Market Neutral and Fixed Income Arbitrage experiencing herding driven by the COVID-19 induced market uncertainty. More importantly, we document significant economic implications of anti-herding and show that hedge funds associated with high degree of anti-herding earn significantly higher excess returns over those with low degree of anti-herding, particularly in the intermediate and long horizons up to one year. At the same time, hedge funds that anti-herd experience greater idiosyncratic volatility in subsequent periods, presenting a novel perspective to the relationship between anti-herding, idiosyncratic volatility and expected returns. While the finding of antiherding in the hedge fund industry is not unexpected as the main attraction of hedge funds is to devise proprietary trading strategies that is based on private information, our findings provide novel insight to the link between idiosyncratic volatility and expected returns in the context of anti-herding in the hedge fund industry.…

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