Research Archive

Momentum Crashes

Kent Daniel, Tobias Moskowitz

Publication type: Working paper

Research Archive Topic: Business Economics and Public Policy, Corporate Finance


Despite their strong positive average returns across numerous asset classes, momentum strategies can experience infrequent and persistent strings of negative returns. These momentum crashes are partly forecastable. They occur in "panic" states — following market declines and when market volatility is high — and are contemporaneous with market rebounds. We show that the low ex-ante expected returns in panic states are consistent with a conditionally high premium attached to the option-like payoffs of past losers. An implementable dynamic momentum strategy based on forecasts of momentum's mean and variance approximately doubles the alpha and Sharpe Ratio of a static momentum strategy, and is not explained by other factors. These results are robust across multiple time periods, international equity markets, and other asset classes.
Download PDF
View Ideas at Work: Research Brief


Daniel, Kent, and Tobias Moskowitz. "Momentum Crashes." Working Paper, Columbia Business School, August 8, 2014.

Each author name for a Columbia Business School faculty member is linked to a faculty research page, which lists additional publications by that faculty member.

Each topic is linked to an index of publications on that topic.