Can typical households earn hedge fund returns? An analysis of the Eta® replication approach

In this study, we present an extension to the literature on passive hedge fund replication and its applications by introducing the Eta model, and applying it to hedged mutual funds (HMFs) in an attempt to clone their cumulative returns and assessing the skills of fund managers. Although our replication methodology performed reasonably well for HMFs of certain trading strategies, the clones tend to outperform their respective HMFs, which suggest significant managerial influence that compromises fund performance. Finally, with the aid of the Eta model, we constructed a minimum economic risk portfolio, a long-only portfolio comprising exchange traded funds, with quarterly rebalancing, which nevertheless registered higher cumulative returns than funds with access to long/short strategies, leverage and derivatives. This augurs well for a typical household in that it is possible for them to earn hedge fund returns without hedge fund experience or expertise.