Hedge Fund Performance Using Scaled Sharpe And Treynor Measures

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Francois van Dyk
Gary van Vuuren
Andre Heymans


Hedge Funds, Risk Management, Sharpe Ratio, Treynor Ratio, Scaled Performance Measure


The Sharpe ratio is widely used as a performance measure for traditional (i.e., long only) investment funds, but because it is based on mean-variance theory, it only considers the first two moments of a return distribution. It is, therefore, not suited for evaluating funds characterised by complex, asymmetric, highly-skewed return distributions such as hedge funds. It is also susceptible to manipulation and estimation error. These drawbacks have demonstrated the need for new and additional fund performance metrics. The monthly returns of 184 international long/short (equity) hedge funds from four geographical investment mandates were examined over an 11-year period.

This study contributes to recent research on alternative performance measures to the Sharpe ratio and specifically assesses whether a scaled-version of the classic Sharpe ratio should augment the use of the Sharpe ratio when evaluating hedge fund risk and in the investment decision-making process. A scaled Treynor ratio is also compared to the traditional Treynor ratio. The classic and scaled versions of the Sharpe and Treynor ratios were estimated on a 36-month rolling basis to ascertain whether the scaled ratios do indeed provide useful additional information to investors to that provided solely by the classic, non-scaled ratios.


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