Why is Santa so kind to hedge funds? The December return puzzle!



Authors / Editors

Agarwal V; Daniel N; Naik N


Publication Year



This paper is the first to document that hedge fund returns during December are significantly higher than those during the rest of the year. This December spike cannot be fully explained by increase in the fundsÂ’ risk exposures or by higher factor risk premiums in December. It contends that the contractual features provide hedge funds incentives to inflate returns at year-end and provides strong evidence in support of this argument. It also shows that the spike is higher for funds with greater opportunities to inflate returns. Finally, it demonstrates that funds inflate December returns by under-reporting returns earlier in the year and/or by borrowing from January returns in the following year.

Publication Research Centre

Hedge Fund Centre

Series Number



BNP Paribas Hedge Fund Centre Working Paper Series