Style-neutral funds of funds: Diversification or deadweight?
This article aims to determine whether style-neutral portfolios built out of value and growth equity/mutual funds deliver benefits in terms of returns and diversification or whether they result in costly benchmark tracking products. We analyze style-neutral portfolios by building synthetic funds of funds (FoFs) out of both value- and growth-oriented equity funds and contrast their properties with the applicable benchmark and with style FoFs. Although a beneficial effect with respect to diversification and a resulting reduction in return dispersion can be seen, the simulated FoFs do not deliver a general risk-adjusted outperformance against the benchmark or the better performing style of a period. The variety of results indicates that FoFs may indeed benefit from investing in a style-neutral portfolio of growth and value funds, but only given that FoF managers are able to select the well-performing funds of the respective styles. In addition, we find that being able to shift between styles over time may lead to better results than locking FoFs into being style neutral.
Keywordsstyle neutral value and growth funds of funds R ratio portfolio deadweight diversification
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