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Int. J. Financial Stud. 2015, 3(4), 431-450; doi:10.3390/ijfs3040431

Positive Alpha and Negative Beta (A Strategy for Counteracting Systematic Risk)

ENCF Corp, Gaasevaenget 6, 2791 Dragoer, Copenhagen, Denmark
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Academic Editor: Jeffrey A. Livingston
Received: 11 April 2015 / Revised: 8 September 2015 / Accepted: 10 September 2015 / Published: 28 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Behavioral Economics and Strategy)
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Abstract

Undiversifiable (or systematic risk) has long been an enemy of investors. Many countercyclical strategies have been developed to counter this. However, like all insurance types, these strategies are generally costly to implement, and over time can significantly reduce portfolio returns in long and extended bull markets. In this paper, we discuss an alternative technique, founded on the premise of physiological bias and risk-aversion. We take a behavioral discussion in order to contextualize the insurance like characteristics of option pricing and discuss how this can lead to a mispricing of the asymmetric relationship between the VIX and the S&P 500. To test this, we perform studies in which we find statistical inefficiencies, thereby making it possible to implement a method of hedging index option premium in a way that has displayed no monthly drawdowns in bullish periods, while still providing large returns in major sell-offs. The three versions of the strategy discussed have negative betas to the S&P 500, while exhibiting similar risk-adjusted excess returns over both bull and bear markets. Further, the performance generated over the entire period, for all three strategies, is highly statistically significant. The results challenge the weak form of the Efficient Market Hypothesis and provide evidence that the methods of hedging could be a valuable addition to an equity rich portfolio for the purpose of counteracting systematic risk. View Full-Text
Keywords: volatility asymmetry; trading strategies; market inefficiency volatility asymmetry; trading strategies; market inefficiency
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Noddeboe, E.S.; Faergemann, H.C. Positive Alpha and Negative Beta (A Strategy for Counteracting Systematic Risk). Int. J. Financial Stud. 2015, 3, 431-450.

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Int. J. Financial Stud. EISSN 2227-7072 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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