August 2022

Cash-Hedged Stock Returns

Chase P. Ross, Landon J. Ross, Sharon Y. Ross


Corporate cash piles vary across companies and over time. A firm's cash holding is an implicit position in a low-return asset that is correlated across firms. Cash generates variation in beta estimates. We show how investors can hedge out the cash on firms' balance sheets when making portfolio choices. We decompose stock betas into components that depend on the firm's cash holding, return on cash, and cash-hedged return. Common asset pricing premia — size, value, and momentum — have large implicit cash positions. Portfolios of cash-hedged premia often have higher Sharpe ratios because firms' cash returns are correlated.

Keywords: cash, cross-section of expected returns, momentum, risk factor, size, value


PDF: Full Paper

Related Materials: Accessible materials (.zip)

Disclaimer: The economic research that is linked from this page represents the views of the authors and does not indicate concurrence either by other members of the Board's staff or by the Board of Governors. The economic research and their conclusions are often preliminary and are circulated to stimulate discussion and critical comment. The Board values having a staff that conducts research on a wide range of economic topics and that explores a diverse array of perspectives on those topics. The resulting conversations in academia, the economic policy community, and the broader public are important to sharpening our collective thinking.

Back to Top
Last Update: September 23, 2022