Smart beta products using common factors like value, low volatility, quality, and small cap experienced an underwhelming performance from 2005–2022. On average, long-only factor portfolios built from a wider set of global factors identified in the finance literature generated significantly positive excess returns across countries, suggesting diversifying across many factors is more prudent than selecting a handful that have performed the best.
The experience of some of the most efficient investors in China’s A shares lends a view into unlocking alpha in one of the world’s most inefficient markets.
Even before the recent trade war, the U.S. president had a hand in China’s market, by way of “concept” stocks. They are just one of the quirks found in retail heavy emerging markets like China, whose inefficiencies—and alpha opportunity—are traced to non-professionals trading as much for entertainment as for profit. In the research below, we investigate the evolution of retail participation in China A shares, the remarkable inefficiencies that creates, and the implications for professional investors.
In this Q&A, Phillip Wool walks us through the world of factors and highlights the benefits of a multi-factor approach.