Multi-period performance persistence analysis of hedge funds



Publishing details

Centre for Hedge Fund Research and Education Working Paper

Authors / Editors

Agarwal V; Naik N Y


Publication Year



Since hedge funds specify significant lockup periods, we investigate persistence in the performance of hedge funds using a multi-period framework in which the likelihood of observing persistence by chance is lower than that in the traditional two-period framework. Under the null hypothesis of no manager skill (no persistence), the theoretical distribution of observing wins or losses follows a binomial distribution. We test this hypothesis using the traditional two-period framework and compare the findings with the results obtained using our multi-period framework. We examine whether persistence is sensitive to the length of return measurement intervals by using quarterly, half-yearly and yearly returns. We find maximum persistence at quarterly horizon indicating that persistence among hedge fund managers is short-term in nature. It decreases as one moves to yearly returns and this finding is not sensitive to whether returns are calculated on a pre- or post-fee basis suggesting that the intra-year persistence finding is not driven by the way performance fees are imputed. The level of persistence in the multi-period framework is considerably smaller than that in the two-period framework with virtually no evidence of persistence using yearly returns under the multi-period framework. Finally persistence, whenever present, seems to be unrelated to whether the fund took directional bets or not.

Publication Research Centre

Hedge Fund Centre

Series Number



Centre for Hedge Fund Research and Education Working Paper