Momentum (finance)

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In finance, momentum is the empirically observed tendency for rising asset prices to rise further, and falling prices to keep falling. For instance, it was shown that stocks with strong past performance continue to outperform stocks with poor past performance in the next period with an average excess return of about 1% per month. [1] [2] Momentum signals (e.g., 52-week high) have been shown to be used by financial analysts in their buy and sell recommendations. [3]

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The existence of momentum is a market anomaly, which finance theory struggles to explain. The difficulty is that an increase in asset prices, in and of itself, should not warrant further increase. Such increase, according to the efficient-market hypothesis, is warranted only by changes in demand and supply or new information (cf. fundamental analysis). Students of financial economics have largely attributed the appearance of momentum to cognitive biases, which belong in the realm of behavioral economics. The explanation is that investors are irrational, [4] [5] in that they underreact to new information by failing to incorporate news in their transaction prices. However, much as in the case of price bubbles, recent research has argued that momentum can be observed even with perfectly rational traders. [6]

A market anomaly in a financial market is a price and/or rate of return distortion that seems to contradict the efficient-market hypothesis.

The efficient-market hypothesis (EMH) is a theory in financial economics that states that asset prices fully reflect all available information. A direct implication is that it is impossible to "beat the market" consistently on a risk-adjusted basis since market prices should only react to new information.

Fundamental analysis analysis of a businesss financial statements

Fundamental analysis, in accounting and finance, is the analysis of a business's financial statements ; health; and competitors and markets. It also considers the overall state of the economy and factors including interest rates, production, earnings, employment, GDP, housing, manufacturing and management. There are two basic approaches that can be used: bottom up analysis and top down analysis. These terms are used to distinguish such analysis from other types of investment analysis, such as quantitative and technical.

See also

In portfolio management the Carhart four-factor model is an extension of the Fama–French three-factor model including a momentum factor for asset pricing of stocks, proposed by Mark Carhart. It is also known in the industry as the MOM factor. Momentum in a stock is described as the tendency for the stock price to continue rising if it is going up and to continue declining if it is going down.

Momentum investing is a system of buying stocks or other securities that have had high returns over the past three to twelve months, and selling those that have had poor returns over the same period.

Technical analysis security analysis methodology

In finance, technical analysis is an analysis methodology for forecasting the direction of prices through the study of past market data, primarily price and volume. Behavioral economics and quantitative analysis use many of the same tools of technical analysis, which, being an aspect of active management, stands in contradiction to much of modern portfolio theory. The efficacy of both technical and fundamental analysis is disputed by the efficient-market hypothesis which states that stock market prices are essentially unpredictable.

Related Research Articles

Finance Academic discipline studying businesses and investments

Finance is a field that is concerned with the allocation (investment) of assets and liabilities over space and time, often under conditions of risk or uncertainty. Finance can also be defined as the art of money management. Participants in the market aim to price assets based on their risk level, fundamental value, and their expected rate of return. Finance can be split into three sub-categories: public finance, corporate finance and personal finance.

Stock market bubble

A stock market bubble is a type of economic bubble taking place in stock markets when market participants drive stock prices above their value in relation to some system of stock valuation.

Financial economics is the branch of economics characterized by a "concentration on monetary activities", in which "money of one type or another is likely to appear on both sides of a trade". Its concern is thus the interrelation of financial variables, such as prices, interest rates and shares, as opposed to those concerning the real economy. It has two main areas of focus: asset pricing and corporate finance; the first being the perspective of providers of capital, i.e. investors, and the second of users of capital.

An economic bubble or asset bubble is trade in an asset at a price or price range that strongly exceeds the asset's intrinsic value. It could also be described as a situation in which asset prices appear to be based on implausible or inconsistent views about the future. Asset bubbles date back as far as the 1600s and are now widely regarded as a recurrent feature of modern economic history. Historically, the Dutch Golden Age's tulip mania is often considered the first recorded economic bubble.

Eugene Fama American economist and Nobel laureate in Economics

Eugene Francis "Gene" Fama is an American economist, best known for his empirical work on portfolio theory, asset pricing, and the efficient-market hypothesis.

A quantitative analyst is a person who specializes in the application of mathematical and statistical methods to financial and risk management problems. The occupation is similar to those in industrial mathematics in other industries.

Modern portfolio theory (MPT), or mean-variance analysis, is a mathematical framework for assembling a portfolio of assets such that the expected return is maximized for a given level of risk. It is a formalization and extension of diversification in investing, the idea that owning different kinds of financial assets is less risky than owning only one type. Its key insight is that an asset's risk and return should not be assessed by itself, but by how it contributes to a portfolio's overall risk and return. It uses the variance of asset prices as a proxy for risk.

Value investing is an investment paradigm that involves buying securities that appear underpriced by some form of fundamental analysis. The various forms of value investing derive from the investment philosophy first taught by Benjamin Graham and David Dodd at Columbia Business School in 1928, and subsequently developed in their 1934 text Security Analysis.

In finance, a portfolio is a collection of investments held by an investment company, hedge fund, financial institution or individual.

The goals of experimental finance are to understand human and market behavior in settings relevant to finance. Experiments are synthetic economic environments created by researchers specifically to answer research questions. This might involve, for example, establishing different market settings and environments to observe experimentally and analyze agents' behavior and the resulting characteristics of trading flows, information diffusion and aggregation, price setting mechanism and returns processes.

Financial market efficiency

There are several concepts of efficiency for a financial market. The most widely discussed is informational or price efficiency, which is a measure of how quickly and completely the price of a single asset reflects available information about the asset's value. Other concepts include functional/operational efficiency, which is inversely related to the costs that investors bear for making transactions, and allocative efficiency, which is a measure of how far a market channels funds from ultimate lenders to ultimate borrowers in such a way that the funds are used in the most productive manner.

Sheridan Dean Titman is a professor of finance at the University of Texas at Austin, where he holds the McAllister Centennial Chair in Financial Services at the McCombs School of Business. He received a B.S. degree from the University of Colorado and an M.S. and Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University.

In asset pricing and portfolio management the Fama–French three-factor model is a model designed by Eugene Fama and Kenneth French to describe stock returns. Fama and French were professors at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where Fama still resides. In 2013, Fama shared the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. The three factors are (1) market risk, (2) the outperformance of small versus big companies, and (3) the outperformance of high book/market versus small book/market companies. However, the size and book/market ratio themselves are not in the model. For this reason, there is academic debate about the meaning of the last two factors.

Avanidhar Subrahmanyam is a professor and named chair at the University of California Los Angeles. He is an expert in stock market activity and behavioral finance, and has published a number of papers on financial markets.

Factor investing is an investment approach that involves targeting quantifiable firm characteristics or “factors” that can explain differences in stock returns. Over the last 50 years, academic research has identified hundreds of factors that impact stock returns. Security characteristics that may be included in a factor-based approach includes size, value, momentum, asset growth, profitability, leverage, term and carry.

References

  1. Jegadeesh, N; Titman S (1999). "Profitability of Momentum Strategies: An Evaluation of Alternative Explanations". NBER Working Paper (7159).
  2. Jegadeesh, N; Titman S (1993). "Returns to Buying Winners and Selling Losers: Implications for Stock Market Efficiency". Journal of Finance. 48 (48): 65–91. doi:10.1111/j.1540-6261.1993.tb04702.x.
  3. Low, R.K.Y.; Tan, E. (2016). "The Role of Analysts' Forecasts in the Momentum Effect". International Review of Financial Analysis. 48: 67–84. doi:10.1016/j.irfa.2016.09.007.
  4. Daniel, K; Hirschleifer D; Subrahmanyam A (1998). "A Theory of Overconfidence, Self-Attribution, and Security Market Under and Over-reactions". Journal of Finance (53). doi:10.2139/ssrn.2017.
  5. Barberis, N; Shleifer A; Vishny R (1998). "A Model of Investor Sentiment". Journal of Financial Economics. 49 (49): 307–343. doi:10.1016/S0304-405X(98)00027-0.
  6. Crombez, J (2001). "Momentum, Rational Agents and Efficient Markets". The Journal of Psychology and Financial Markets. 2 (2): 190–200. doi:10.1207/S15327760JPFM0204_3.