Each chapter develops statistical techniques within the context of a particular financial application. This exciting new text contains a unique and accessible combination of theory and practice, bringing state-of-the-art statistical techniques to the forefront of financial applications. Each chapter also includes a discussion of recent empirical evidence, for example, the rejection of the Random Walk Hypothesis, as well as problems designed to help readers incorporate what they have read into their own applications.
The articles track the exciting course of Lo and MacKinlay's research on the predictability of stock prices from their early work on rejecting random walks in short-horizon returns to their analysis of long-term memory in stock market prices. A particular highlight is their now-famous inquiry into the pitfalls of "data-snooping biases" that have arisen from the widespread use of the same historical databases for discovering anomalies and developing seemingly profitable investment strategies. This book invites scholars to reconsider the Random Walk Hypothesis, and, by carefully documenting the presence of predictable components in the stock market, also directs investment professionals toward superior long-term investment returns through disciplined active investment management.
The discount factor framework also leads to a state-space geometry for mean-variance frontiers and asset pricing models. It puts payoffs in different states of nature on the axes rather than mean and variance of return, leading to a new and conveniently linear geometrical representation of asset pricing ideas.
Cochrane approaches empirical work with the Generalized Method of Moments, which studies sample average prices and discounted payoffs to determine whether price does equal expected discounted payoff. He translates between the discount factor, GMM, and state-space language and the beta, mean-variance, and regression language common in empirical work and earlier theory.
The book also includes a review of recent empirical work on return predictability, value and other puzzles in the cross section, and equity premium puzzles and their resolution. Written to be a summary for academics and professionals as well as a textbook, this book condenses and advances recent scholarship in financial economics.
Arguing that hedge funds have very different risk and return characteristics than traditional investments, Lo constructs new tools for analyzing their dynamics, including measures of illiquidity exposure and performance smoothing, linear and nonlinear risk models that capture alternative betas, econometric models of hedge fund failure rates, and integrated investment processes for alternative investments. In a new chapter, he looks at how the strategies for and regulation of hedge funds have changed in the aftermath of the financial crisis.