Working papers

« The Predominance of Real Estate in the Household Portfolio », with Sebastien Betermier

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Despite the well-known benefits of diversification, homeowners invest mostly in their home. A common explanation for this pattern is that homeowners are constrained to fully own the home they want to live in. We refute this explanation and show that the predominance of housing stems from its distinct investment value. We then provide clarity on the value of the housing investment. Because owning a home provides a steady stream of housing consumption, it is equivalent to purchasing a perpetual bond indexed to that home. Housing thus plays a special role in the portfolio as one of the homeowner’s risk-free assets.

« Hedge Fund Performance Under Misspecified Models » with David Ardia, Patrick Gagliardini and Olivier Scaillet

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We develop a new approach for evaluating performance across hedge funds. Our approach allows for performance comparisons between models that are misspecified – a common feature given the numerous factors that drive hedge fund returns. The empirical results show that the standard models used in previous work omit similar factors because they (i) perform exactly like the CAPM, and (ii) produce large and positive alphas. In contrast, we observe a large and statistically significant decrease in performance with a new model formed with alternative factors that capture variance, correlation, liquidity, betting-against-beta, carry, and time-series momentum strategies. Overall, the results suggest that the average returns of hedge funds are largely explained by mechanical trading strategies.