HomeInvestmentDoes Bond Market Knowledge Yield Fairness Alpha?

Does Bond Market Knowledge Yield Fairness Alpha?

Can inventory buyers profit from company bond market information? Sure. In actual fact, fairness portfolios constructed utilizing bond momentum indicators could outperform their conventional fairness worth momentum counterparts.

However as our examine demonstrates, the sign design is important.

Momentum Spillover

The momentum spillover impact describes the sign that an organization’s bond momentum sends about its future inventory returns and is attributed to info asymmetry within the monetary markets.

There are a number of explanation why bond market information may need distinctive insights for fairness buyers:

  • Institutional buyers with superior experience and entry to extra and higher information dominate the bond markets relative to their fairness counterparts. This will likely give the bond markets an informational benefit.
  • Since bonds have extra predictable future money flows, their costs could higher mirror their elementary worth.
  • Low liquidity and excessive transaction prices could insulate bond markets from hypothesis and short-term volatility.

Bond Momentum Design

Harvesting the momentum spillover premium requires an appropriately designed bond momentum sign. In contrast to inventory momentum, bond momentum has no single definition. In keeping with the educational literature, bond momentum indicators take three types:

  • Whole Return Bond Momentum displays the aggregated trailing whole return of all an organization’s excellent bonds.
  • Extra Return Bond Momentum describes the distinction between the bond whole return and period matched risk-free bond whole return.
  • Unfold Change Bond Momentum is the adverse worth of the unfold change.

In “Momentum in Company Bond Returns,” Gergana Jostova et al., study Whole Return Bond Momentum and establish a powerful momentum impact in non-investment-grade bonds. However rating shares primarily based on bond whole return, or rate of interest and unfold return, could also be ill-advised because the former is a scientific issue pushed by sovereign rate of interest dynamics. Because of this, the rate of interest publicity of an organization’s debt can considerably affect Whole Return Bond Momentum. That’s the reason we focus right here on Unfold Change Bond Momentum and Extra Return Bond Momentum.

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Making use of Bond Momentum to an Fairness Portfolio

Our bond dataset relies on the Russell 1000 inventory universe and begins in 2003, shortly after the launch of the Commerce Reporting and Compliance Engine (TRACE) fixed-income database. We mapped company bond securities to their shares utilizing a standard firm ID. As of December 2022, about 60% of Russell 1000 corporations representing 86% of the index’s whole market cap have bond information protection.

We computed market-value-weighted extra bond returns and unfold adjustments for all debt-issuing firms with a trailing three-month lookback window and constructed factor-mimicking portfolios by sorting shares into quintiles (Q1 to Q5) primarily based on their bond momentum scores. The primary chart presents the efficiency abstract of equally weighted and market-cap weighted Q1 to Q5 issue portfolios, together with a Carhart momentum issue portfolio for comparability functions . 

Each bond momentum indicators outperformed conventional fairness momentum on an equal- and market-cap-weighted foundation and had larger info ratios. Moreover, Unfold Change Bond Momentum eclipsed Extra Return Bond Momentum with larger Q1 annualized returns and Q1 to Q5 return spreads.

Hypothetical Bond Momentum Portfolio Efficiency Abstract
(Russell 1000, 2003 to 2022)

Portfolio Extra Return Bond Momentum Unfold Change Bond Momentum Fairness Momentum
Annualized Return Extra Return Info Ratio Annualized Return Extra Return Info Ratio Annualized Return Extra Return Info Ratio
Equally Weighted Portfolio
Q1 12.2% 1.9% 0.34 12.9% 2.7% 0.41 11.5% 1.3% 0.24
Q2 12.5% 2.3% 0.44 12.6% 2.4% 0.47 11.3% 1.1% 0.28
Q3 12.6% 2.4% 0.47 12.1% 1.9% 0.40 12.0% 1.7% 0.36
This fall 11.3% 1.1% 0.25 11.1% 0.9% 0.23 11.4% 1.2% 0.25
Q5 11.1% 0.9% 0.20 10.9% 0.7% 0.19 12.9% 2.7% 0.29
Q1–Q5 1.1% 2.0% -1.4%
Market Cap Weighted Portfolio
Q1 10.0% -0.2% 0.04 10.5% 0.3% 0.10 9.3% -0.9% -0.11
Q2 10.9% 0.7% 0.17 11.4% 1.2% 0.29 11.3% 1.1% 0.26
Q3 10.6% 0.4% 0.11 10.7% 0.5% 0.11 10.7% 0.5% 0.14
This fall 10.1% -0.1% -0.02 9.4% -0.8% -0.13 9.3% -0.9% -0.12
Q5 8.8% -1.4% -0.24 7.6% -2.6% -0.36 10.5% 0.3% 0.13
Q1–Q5 1.2% 1.9% -1.2%
Supply: NT Quant Fairness Analysis, FTSE Russell, FactSet, Russell 1K, 2003-2022
The info contained herein doesn’t symbolize the outcomes of an precise funding portfolio however displays the hypothetical historic efficiency. Previous Efficiency is just not indicative of future outcomes.


That Unfold Change Bond Momentum outperforms Extra Bond Momentum is not any coincidence. There are some elementary explanations for this end result. Utilizing primary bond math, we decompose bond extra return into unfold carry return and unfold worth return in Equations [1] to [6] under. Unfold carry return is a operate of unfold stage whereas unfold worth return is pushed by unfold change. Unfold change is the one element that immediately captures company-specific market sentiment. 

Image of various Bond Momentum Equations

We additionally utilized Fama-Macbeth regressions to additional consider the 2 bond momentum indicators. Particularly, we ran cross-sectional regressions every month utilizing one-month ahead inventory returns as impartial variables and customary inventory components plus bond momentum as dependent variables. The mannequin outputs are introduced within the following desk.

Inventory Return and Bond Momentum Components: Cross-Sectional Evaluation, 2003 to 2022

  Mannequin 1 Mannequin 2 Mannequin 3 Mannequin 4
Intercept 0.0103 [3.46] 0.0103 [3.44] 0.0106 [3.56] 0.0105 [3.52]
Market 0.0024 [1.49] 0.0024 [1.47] 0.0024 [1.45] 0.0024 [1.46]
Dimension 0.0006 [1.59] 0.0006 [1.55] 0.0006 [1.70] 0.0007 [1.85]
Worth -0.0004 [-0.53] -0.0004 [-0.48] -0.0004 [-0.49] -0.0004 [-0.50]
ROE 0.0001 [0.04] 0.0002 [0.06] 0.0001 [0.02] -0.0001 [-0.02]
Low Vol 0.0133 [1.55] 0.0126 [1.49] 0.0122 [1.46] 0.0122 [1.45]
Momentum 0.0034 [0.85] 0.0029 [0.75] 0.0026 [0.67] 0.0028 [0.71]
Extra Return Bond Momentum   0.0357 [1.71]   -0.0072 [-0.25]
Unfold Change Bond Momentum     0.1957 [2.54] 0.2209 [2.10]
R^2 0.1347 0.1382 0.1381 0.1403
Sources: NT Quant Fairness Analysis, FTSE Russell, FactSet, Russell 3K.
The info contained herein doesn’t symbolize the outcomes of an precise funding portfolio however displays the hypothetical historic efficiency. Previous Efficiency is just not indicative of future outcomes.

Mannequin 1 is a baseline Fama-French Three Issue Mannequin plus return on fairness (ROE), Low Volatility, and Momentum. Mannequin 2 expands on Mannequin 1 by including Extra Return Bond Momentum as an impartial variable. Mannequin 3 makes use of Unfold Change Bond Momentum as the extra variable, whereas Mannequin 4 contains each bond momentum indicators as explanatory variables. 

The outputs from Mannequin 2 and Mannequin 3 point out that each bond momentum indicators can enhance the explanatory energy of the baseline mannequin, or Mannequin 1. When included as a stand-alone variable, Unfold Change Bond Momentum exhibits larger statistical significance than Extra Return Bond Return, and when each indicators are included, Unfold Change Bond Momentum higher predicts future inventory returns.

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The extra broadly accessible bond information turns into, the extra teachers and practitioners will apply it to fairness sign analysis. Based mostly on our evaluation of the company bonds of US large-cap shares, a well-designed bond momentum sign that successfully captures market sentiment may help obtain important fairness alphas, and as our backtest and cross-sectional evaluation present, Unfold Change Bond Momentum is the simplest approach to harvest this momentum-spillover premium.

Additional Studying

Bittlingmayer, G., and Shane Moser. “What Does the Company Bond Market Know?” The Monetary Assessment.

Chan, Louis Okay. C., Narasimhan Jegadeesh, and Josef Lakonishok. “Momentum Methods.” Journal of Finance.

Dor, Arik Ben, and Zhe Xu. “Ought to Fairness Traders Care about Company Bond Costs? Utilizing Bond Costs to Assemble Fairness Momentum Methods.” The Journal of Portfolio Administration.

Gebhardt, William R., Soeren Hvidkjaer, and Bhaskaran Swaminathan. “Inventory and Bond Market Interplay: Does Momentum Spill Over?” Journal of Monetary Economics.

Israel, Ronen, Diogo Palhares, and Scott A. Richardson. “Frequent Components in Company Bond Returns.” Journal of Funding Administration.

Gergana Jostova, Stanislava Nikolova, Alexander Philipov, and Christof W. Stahel. “Momentum in Company Bond Returns.” Assessment of Monetary Research.

Lee, Jongsub, Andy Naranjo, and Stace Sirmans. “CDS Momentum: Gradual-Transferring Credit score Rankings and Cross-Market Spillovers.” The Assessment of Asset Pricing Research.

Wiltermuth, Pleasure J. “Digital Buying and selling in U.S. Company Bonds Is Lastly Taking Off. However It’s Nonetheless Early Days, Says This Investor.” MarketWatch.

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All posts are the opinion of the creator. As such, they shouldn’t be construed as funding recommendation, nor do the opinions expressed essentially mirror the views of CFA Institute or the creator’s employer.

Picture credit score: ©Getty Photographs/ atakan

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