DGTW refers to the 1997 Daniel, Grinblatt, Titman, and Wermers paper available on Wermers' personal website.

The general idea from what I have understood (please correct me if you think I'm wrong!) is to adjust the returns of a strategy. There are three main measures:

First, the characteristic selectivity:

  1. You form 5^3 = 125 conditional sorted quintile benchmark portfolios on (1) size, (2) book-to-market, and (3) momentum.

  2. For each stock that's in the strategy or fund that you're evaluating, you subtract the same-period performance of that benchmark portfolio that we formed that the respective stock fell into a month earlier. So we get an excess return of the stock pick relative to the "characteristic" portfolio. (eq. 1 in the paper)

  3. You calculate a weighted sum of these excess returns according to the strategy's (or fund's) weights. This is the "characteristic selectivity" (CS) measure.

Second, the characteristic timing:

  1. Use the same 125 benchmark portfolios as before.

  2. We calculate the benchmark portfolio minus the same benchmark portfolio 12 months earlier, each weighted by how much the strategy/fund was invested in stocks that belong to these benchmark portfolios. (eq. 2 in the paper)

  3. The sum of these is the "characteristic timing" (CT) measure.

Third, the average style:

  1. Same benchmark portfolios.

  2. We calculate the performance of the weights times respective benchmark portfolios 12 month earilier. (eq. 3 in the paper)

The construction of the benchmark portfolios is described in the paper's appendix.

  • Requires data for each stock to be available 2 years earlier.

  • For the book-to-market sorting we first industry average.

  • Momentum sorting based on 12 month past returns excluding the very last month.

My questions:

  • When we say DGTW adjusted returns do we normally refer to the CS? Is CT and AS less important?

  • How would we handle new stocks? Like what if we want to evaluate a fund that focuses on recent IPO'd stocks? We don't know what benchmark portfolio they fall into.

  • Does it make sense to DGTW adjust other sorting strategies? Like let's take another sorting factor we come up with, does it make sense to calculate DGTW adjusted returns? Is this done? Is there a better way to see if the new factor bring new information? Of course we can regress the returns in a factor model, but is there a better way?

  • Does it make sense to DGTW adjust returns with short positions?

  • Is DGTW used in the industry like at Morningstar or other fund evaluation firms?

  • $\begingroup$ I'm aware of this question: quant.stackexchange.com/questions/10042/… My post differs from that I'd like to go into more detail. $\endgroup$
    – Martin
    Commented May 7, 2021 at 19:35
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ When you short a stock you hope it will do worse than the benchmark, other than this it is the same idea. Instead of looking at $r-r_{DGTW}$ you can look at $-(r-r_{DGTW})$ as your performance measure when you are short a stock whose return is $r$. $\endgroup$
    – nbbo2
    Commented May 7, 2021 at 21:57


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