With the fast development of Chinese capital market, an increasing number of institutions and retail investors invest through professional managers. The key to evaluating investment manager’s skill and performance persistence largely lies in portfolio style research and attribution analysis.
The current dissertation takes advantage of a unique dataset, uncover hidden investment style and trading behavior, understanding their source of excess returns, and establishing a more comprehensive methodology for evaluating portfolio performance and manager skills.
The dissertation focuses on quantitative analysis. Highlights three most important aspects. Investment style determines the systematic returns and risks of any portfolio, and can be assessed ex-ante; Transaction can be observed and modified during the investment process; and return attribution can be implemented to evaluate portfolio (managers), ex-post. Hence, these three elements make up a comprehensive and logical investment process.
Investment style is probably the most important factor in determining portfolio returns. However, Chinese investment managers are under constant pressure to follow the market trend and shift style accordingly. Therefore, accurately identifying and predicting each manager’s investment style proves critically valuable.
In addition, transaction data probably provides the most reliable source of information in observing and evaluating an investment manager’s style and strategy, in the middle of the investment process.
Despite the efficacy of traditional return attribution methodology, there are clear limitations. The current study proposes a novel return attribution methodology, by synthesizing major portfolio strategy components, such as risk exposure adjustment, sector rotation, stock selection, altogether. Our novel methodology reveals that investment managers do not obtain much abnormal returns through risk exposure adjustment or sector rotation. Instead, Chinese investment managers seem to enjoy most of their excess returns through stock selection.
In addition, we find several interesting patterns in Chinese A-share market: 1). There is a negative relationship between asset under management (AUM) and investment performance, beyond certain AUM threshold; 2). There are limited benefits from style switching in the long run; 3). Many investment managers use CSI 300 component stocks as portfolio ballast and speculate with CSI500 and Medium-and-Small board component stocks for excess returns; 4). There is no systematic negative relationship between portfolio turnover and investment performance; despite negative relationship within certain sub-samples and sectors; 5). It is plausible to construct out-performing portfolios with style index funds and ETFs.