The information contained in the website is solely intended for professional investors. Some funds shown on this website fall outside the scope of the Dutch Act on the Financial Supervision (Wet op het financieel toezicht) and therefore do not (need to) have a license from the Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM).
The funds shown on this website may not be available in your country. Please select your country website (top right corner) to view the products that are available in your country.
Neither information nor any opinion expressed on the website constitutes a solicitation, an offer or a recommendation to buy, sell or dispose of any investment, to engage in any other transaction or to provide any investment advice or service. An investment in a Robeco product should only be made after reading the related legal documents such as management regulations, prospectuses, annual and semi-annual reports, which can be all be obtained free of charge at this website and at the Robeco offices in each country where Robeco has a presence.
Macquarie applies Benford’s law to identify firms which may be manipulating their accounting data, or perhaps even engaging in outright fraud. According to this law, there is a natural frequency of 1 to 9 occurring as the first digit in a number, with the chance of 1 for instance being around 30%, and the chance of 9 less than 5%.
If the figures in the financial statements of a company show a large deviation from Benford’s law, this could be a reason for suspicion. They find a Sharpe ratio of about 0.5 for a sector neutral top-minus-bottom quintile strategy based on this idea. The correlation with traditional quantitative factors is found to be low, which suggests it could be a nice diversifier in multi-factor models.
Our main concern is whether it is really strong enough to improve upon a traditional multi-factor model. The robustness across different markets would also need to be investigated further.
* Macquarie, “Japan Dynamics: Quant Strategy – Red Flag Reporting”, 16 July 2014
Our researchers publish many whitepapers based on their own empirical studies; they also follow quantitative research done by others. Head of Quant Equities Research David Blitz comments on notable external papers.