The authors explored whether the well-publicized anomalous returns associated with low-volatility stocks can be attributed to market mispricing or to compensation for higher systematic factor risk. The results of their study, covering a 46-year period, indicate that the relatively high returns of low-volatility portfolios cannot be viewed solely as compensation for systematic factor risk. The results from their cross-sectional analyses indicate that average returns to low-volatility portfolios are determined by common variations associated with the idiosyncratic-volatility characteristic rather than factor loadings. This finding suggests that the excess returns are more likely driven by market mispricing connected with volatility as a stock characteristic.
About the Author(s)
Xi Li is an associate professor of finance at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.