Working Paper | HBS Working Paper Series | 2011

The Cost of Capital for Alternative Investments

by Jakub W. Jurek and Erik Stafford

Abstract

This paper studies the cost of capital for alternative investments. We document that the risk profile of the aggregate hedge fund universe can be accurately matched by a simple index put option writing strategy that offers monthly liquidity and complete transparency over its state-contingent payoffs. The contractual nature of the put options in the benchmark portfolio allows us to evaluate appropriate required rates of return as a function of investor risk preferences and the underlying distribution of market returns. This simple framework produces a number of distinct predictions about the cost of capital for alternatives relative to traditional mean-variance analysis.

Keywords: Cost of Capital; Financial Liquidity; Investment; Investment Return; Mathematical Methods; Risk and Uncertainty;

Citation:

Jurek, Jakub W., and Erik Stafford. "The Cost of Capital for Alternative Investments." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 12-013, September 2011. (NBER Working Paper Series, No. 19643, November 2013.)