Mutual funds following factor investing strategies based on equity asset pricing anomalies, such as the small cap, value, and momentum effects, earn significantly higher alphas than traditional actively managed mutual funds. A buy-and-hold strategy for a random factor fund yields 110 basis points per annum in excess of the return earned by the average traditional actively managed mutual fund. However, the actual returns that investors earn by investing in factor mutual funds are significantly lower because investors dynamically reallocate their funds both across factors and factor managers. Although factor funds have attracted significant fund flows over our sample period, it appears that fund flows have been driven by factor funds earning high past returns and not by the funds providing factor exposures. We argue that rather than timing factors and factor managers, investors would be better off by using a buyand-hold strategy and selecting a multi-factor manager.

factor investing, small cap, value, momentum, low-risk, profitability, investments, fund flows
Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions (jel G11), Asset Pricing (jel G12), Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies (jel G14),
The Journal of Portfolio Management
Department of Finance

van Gelderen, E., Huij, J.J, & Kyosev, G.S. (2019). Factor Investing from Concept to Implementation. The Journal of Portfolio Management, 45(3), 125–140. doi:10.3905/jpm.2019.45.3.125