READING, U.K. (HedgeWorld.com)–The accuracy of the correlation calculations often cited by hedge fund researchers was questioned by Harry M. Kat, associate professor of finance at the University of Reading, in his most recent working paper.
Many researchers, including Mr. Kat himself, have asserted that hedge fund strategies tend not to be correlated when stock market returns are high, and are more correlated when equity markets dive. But Mr. Kat is now taking a more critical view of using correlation figures as an indicator of dependence on the markets.
His study found that the fact that the correlation between hedge fund returns and stock market returns appears to be higher in down rather than up markets can be attributed purely to technicalities. Overall, the correlation of hedge funds and the U.S. equity market is 0.18 in up markets but totals 0.53 in down markets, according to the research.