CTAs throughout the business cycle : a form of economic rationality?

With the onset of the inflationary cycle and the change in central bank monetary policy, markets have entered a new paradigm, leaving investors uncertain as to the direction that markets will take next, and the timing of the transition into the next phase of the economic cycle. The merits of CTA (Commodity Trading Advisors) strategies in periods of crisis/ recession are often touted: decorrelation from the main asset classes, resilience of performance even in times of crisis, reduction of volatility and drawdowns when added to a balanced portfolio. Do these qualities hold true in all phases of the business cycle?

Managed Futures strategies are well-known by asset allocators seeking uncorrelated returns and resilient performance in times of crisis. But do these qualities hold true at all times? In this research paper, the team analyses CTA strategies’ behaviour in the various phases that form macroeconomic cycles: expansion, peak, recession and recovery. They come up with interesting observations that help answer the question: are trend-following strategies “economically rational”?

What’s your opinion? Read our paper to know more.

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