We document that defined benefit pension plans with significant holdings in private equity (PE) earn substantially greater returns than plans with small holdings, in both the 1990s and the 2000s. A one standard deviation increase in PE holdings is associated with 4% greater returns per year. Up to one-third of this outperformance comes from lower costs that we link to economizing on costly intermediation by avoiding fund-of-funds and investing directly. The bulk of the outperformance comes from superior gross returns only partially explained by access and experience. We conjecture that larger PE investors have superior due diligence and ability to bridge information asymmetries in PE.
Someone recently posed an interesting brain teaser to me,
“Would you rather win the lottery or have the perfect job?”
Details were lacking, and it got me thinking (which was probably the point):
“Perfect by whose standards? And …
Win the Lottery or Have the Perfect Job?
[Read the rest of the story at 20somethingfinance.com]
Geert Bekaert and Eric Engstrom. We introduce a "bad environment-good environment" (BEGE) technology for consumption growth in a consumption-based asset pricing model with external habit formation. The model generates realistic non-Gaussian features of consumption growth and fits standard salient features of asset prices including the means and volatilities of equity returns and a low risk free rate. BEGE dynamics additionally allow the model to generate realistic properties of equity index options prices, and their comovements with the macroeconomic outlook. In particular, when option implied volatility is high, as measured for instance by the VIX index, the distribution of consumption growth is more negatively skewed.
Don Faller, CFP, C(k)P, of FiduciaryFirst, is selected by the National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA) for the NAPA DC Fly-In
This honor is reserved for the top 401 (k) plan advisories in the country.
Etienne Gagnon, David Lopez-Salido, and Jason A. Sockin. Coibion, Gorodnichenko, and Hong (2015) argue that the CPI underestimates the deceleration in consumer prices during economic downturns because the index fails to account for the reallocation of consumer spending from high- to low-price stores. We show that these authors’ measures of inflation with and without store switching suffer from several methodological deficiencies, including an excessive truncation of price adjustments and the lack of a treatment for missing observations. When we address these deficiencies, the authors’ key regression results no longer suggest that greater store switching during downturns is a statistically or economically significant phenomenon.
The end result of major sporting events has been shown to affect next day stock returns through shifts in investor mood. By studying intraday data during the soccer matches that led to the elimination of France and Italy from the 2010 FIFA World Cup, we test whether mood-related pricing effects already materialize as events unfold. We use data for a cross-listed firm, which allows for a straightforward identification of underpricing. During the matches, the firm’s stock is underpriced by up to 7 basis points in the country that eventually loses. The probability of underpricing increases as elimination becomes more likely.
IFDP2015-1139: Cheap Talk and the Efficacy of the ECB’s Securities Market Programme: Did Bond Purchases Matter?
Michiel De Pooter, Rebecca DeSimone, Robert F. Martin, and Seth Pruitt. In 2010, in response to an ever-worsening fiscal crisis, the ECB began purchasing sovereign debt from troubled euro-area countries through its Securities Market Programme (SMP). This program was designed to improve market functioning and restore the monetary transmission mechanism within the euro area. This paper does not test those ideals. Rather, we test whether SMP purchases systematically lowered peripheral yields and spreads. We find limited evidence of purchase effects but large announcement effects. In addition, on days in which the ECB was believed to have made large purchases, yields moved down, independent of the size of the ECB’s purchases or even if the ECB conducted any purchase at all that week. In all, we conclude that the ECB’s SMP influenced yields through a confidence channel rather than through any direct purchase effect. In the appendix to this paper we provide a detailed timeline of SMP purchases and market beliefs about purchase timing.
Michiel De Pooter, Robert F. Martin, and Seth Pruitt. To "ensure depth and liquidity," the European Central Bank in 2010 and 2011 repeatedly intervened in sovereign debt markets through its Securities Markets Programme. These purchases provide a unique natural experiment for testing the effects of large-scale asset purchases on risk premia arising from liquidity concerns. To explore how official intervention influences liquidity premia, we develop a search-based asset-pricing model. Consistent with our model’s predictions, we find statistically and economically significant stock and flow effects on sovereign bonds’ liquidity premia in response to official purchases.
All good things come with limitations. And never is that more true than with retirement accounts.
For those lucky enough to have an employer-sponsored 401K (it is rarer that you think), you are probably aware that …
What if you Over-Contribute to a 401K? (and a Case for Purposefully Doing so when you Change Jobs)
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Dong Hwan Oh and Andrew J. Patton. This paper presents flexible new models for the dependence structure, or copula, of economic variables based on a latent factor structure. The proposed models are particularly attractive for relatively high dimensional applications, involving fifty or more variables, and can be combined with semiparametric marginal distributions to obtain flexible multivariate distributions. Factor copulas generally lack a closed-form density, but we obtain analytical results for the implied tail dependence using extreme value theory, and we verify that simulation-based estimation using rank statistics is reliable even in high dimensions. We consider "scree" plots to aid the choice of the number of factors in the model. The model is applied to daily returns on all 100 constituents of the S and P 100 index, and we find significant evidence of tail dependence, heterogeneous dependence, and asymmetric dependence, with dependence being stronger in crashes than in booms. We also show that factor copula models provide superior estimates of some measures of systemic risk.