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A guide to survival of momentum in UK style portfolios

A guide to survival of momentum in UK style portfolios

Sarwar, Golam ORCID: 0000-0003-3060-887X, Mateus, Cesario and Todorovic, Natasa (2018) A guide to survival of momentum in UK style portfolios. International Journal of Banking, Accounting and Finance, 9 (2). pp. 192-224. ISSN 1755-3830 (Print), 1755-3849 (Online) (doi:

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In this study we estimate the survival time of momentum in six UK style portfolio returns from October 1980 to June 2014. We utilise the Kaplan-Meier estimator, a non-parametric method that measures the probability that momentum will persist beyond the present month. This probability enables us to compute the average momentum survival time for each of the six style portfolios. Discrepancies between these empirical mean survival times and those implied by theoretical models (Random Walk and ARMA (1, 1)) show that there is scope for profiting from momentum trading. We illustrate this by forming long-only, short-only and long-short trading strategies that exploit positive and negative momentum and their average survival time. These trading strategies yield considerably higher Sharpe ratios than the comparative buy-and-hold strategies at a feasible level of transaction costs. This result is most pronounced for the long/short strategies. Our findings remain robust during the 2007/08 financial crisis and the aftermath, suggesting that Kaplan-Meier estimator is a powerful tool for designing a profitable momentum strategy.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Momentum survival, Style portfolios, Kaplan-Meier estimator, Trading strategies
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5601 Accounting
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Institute of Political Economy, Governance, Finance and Accountability (IPEGFA) > Centre for Governance, Risk & Accountability (CGRA)
Faculty of Business > Department of Accounting & Finance
Last Modified: 18 May 2019 12:46
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: GREAT b
Selected for GREAT 2018: GREAT c
Selected for GREAT 2019: GREAT 3

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