Looking for Risk in Words: A Narrative Approach to Measuring the Pricing Implications of Finance Constraints

Looking for Risk in Words: A Narrative Approach to Measuring the Pricing Implications of Finance Constraints

Matthias M. M. Buehlmaier 

The University of Hong Kong

Toni M. Whited 

University of Rochester – Simon Business School; National Bureau of Economic Research
March 15, 2014
Simon School Working Paper No. FR 14-11

We construct a novel measure of financial constraints using textual analysis and investigate its impact on stock returns. Unlike other financial constraints measures, ours is consistent with firm characteristics of constrained firms. We find that constrained firms’ returns move together. The variation of a financial constraints factor cannot be explained by the Fama-French and momentum factors, earning an annualized risk-adjusted excess return of 7%. A stock trading strategy based on financial constraints is most profitable for large and liquid stocks, and when the financial constraints are measured by access to debt markets instead of equity markets.


About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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