We consider two forms of volatility weighting (own volatility and underlying asset volatility) applied to cross-sectional and time-series momentum strategies. We present some simple theoretical results for the Sharpe ratios of weighted strategies and show empirical results for momentum strategies applied to US industry portfolios. We find that both the timing effect and the stabilizing effect of volatility weighting are relevant for the improvement in Sharpe ratios. We also introduce a dispersion weighting scheme which treats cross-sectional dispersion as (partially) forecastable volatility. Although dispersion weighting improves the Sharpe ratio, it seems to be less effective than volatility weighting.
Keywords: momentum, trend following, volatility weighting, cross-section dispersion
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