Time to Manage Your Risk

02 October 2020

Factor Analysis Part I

Using RiskAPI to calculate Factor sensitivities

Factor analysis of equity portfolios represents a significant portion of the equity investment sector. The ability to measure and decompose portfolio factor exposure is key to this group.

In addition to multi-model VaR and Stress-Testing, Factor analysis is also available in the RiskAPI Add-In. Using the system's exposure analysis functionality, generating factor sensitivities is both simple and fast. In this post we will examine a factor analysis process using a portfolio composed of all 102 Nasdaq 100 components against a collection of popular US Equity factors:

The above image shows the output of the "Multiple Regression" keyword via the RiskAPI Add-In's "Market Macro" feature. This feature allows users to quickly generate API calculations by simply entering in a table with the appropriate column headings. For simplicity, this example uses the S&P 500 index, as well as 5 "off-the-shelf" factor index equity ETF's:

  • VLUE - the value factor
  • QUAL - the quality factor
  • MTUM - the momentum factor
  • SIZE - the small cap factor
  • STLG - the growth factor

The "Coefficients" row, generated by the Add-In, represents the OLS regression beta coefficients of the portfolio vs. all of the included factor symbols under the "Index" keyword. The regression is run using YTD daily data, as specified by the "start date" and "end date" keywords. Weekly and Monthly periodicities are also available via the Add-In, including rolling versions of all of the above.

An important detail produced alongside the beta coefficients is the row labeled "T-stats", indicating how significant the regression coefficients are. Values further away from zero suggest more valid beta coefficients. From the results above, we can see that this Nasdaq 100 portfolio has a beta of 1.88, nearly twice the S&P 500. What's more, the t-stat is quite high, at 13.73, telling us this is a beta that is quite valid. This is not a surprise given the existence of many SPX components in the Nasdaq 100, such as AAPL, MSFT, and AMZN.

In contrast, the momentum factor has a low t-stat of 0.94, suggesting that the low beta coefficient of 0.05 is both not explanatory or statistically significant. The "Multiple Regression" feature also produces several other metrics to help the practitioner gain insight in the validity of all factors used as well as the underlying data the analysis was run on.

In the next post in this series, we will examine how the RiskAPI system's factor exposure analysis capability can be utilized to execute multi-factor stress-testing and scenario analysis.