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Alpha or beta in the eye of the beholder: What drives hedge fund flows?

Vikas Agarwal, T. Clifton Green and Honglin Ren

Journal of Financial Economics, 2018, vol. 127, issue 3, 417-434

Abstract: Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) alpha explains hedge fund flows better than alphas from more sophisticated models. This suggests that investors pool together sophisticated model alpha with returns from exposures to traditional (except for the market) and exotic risks. We decompose performance into traditional and exotic risk components and find that while investors chase both components, they place greater relative emphasis on returns associated with exotic risk exposures that can only be obtained through hedge funds. However, we find little evidence of persistence in performance from traditional or exotic risks, which cautions against investors’ practice of seeking out risk exposures following periods of recent success.

Keywords: Hedge funds; Investor flows; Alpha; Alternative beta; Exotic beta (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: G11 G20 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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