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Transaction Costs Optimization for Currency Factor Strategies

Transaction Costs Optimization for Currency Factor Strategies

Posted June 26, 2020 at 11:34 am
Quantpedia

A lot of backtests of systematic trading strategies omit transaction costs (in the form of spreads and fees). Simulation is then simpler, but resultant model portfolio and its performance can be misleading. In the case of currency factor investing, backtest without the tcosts simulation can pick currencies with wider spreads and higher volatilities. And in real trading, with real-world transaction costs, a strategy can, therefore, perform significantly worse than expected. A research paper written by Melvin, Pan, and Wikstrom offers an elegant optimization methodology to incorporate transaction costs into the backtesting process which allows strategies to retain their alpha …

Authors: Michael Melvin, Wenqiang Pan, Petra Wikstrom

Title: Retaining Alpha: The Effect of Trade Size and Rebalancing Frequency on FX Strategy Returns

Linkhttps://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3552383

Abstract:

The literature on currency investing that incorporates transaction costs uses costs relevant for small trade sizes. Using the entire order book of the major electronic brokerages for FX, we compute sweep-to-fill costs for trades of different sizes and illustrate the reduction in post-cost returns as trade size increases. Researchers should consider trade size and frequency to create realistic forecasts of post-tcost returns to gauge the capacity of a strategy. We show how incorporating tcosts (transaction costs) in the construction of a portfolio improves performance for both high and low frequency strategies and retains a larger portion of the alpha.

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Disclosure: Forex

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