Inflation and Individual Equities

Andrew Ang, Marie Brière, Ombretta Signori

NBER Working Paper No. 17798
Issued in February 2012
NBER Program(s):   AP

We study the inflation hedging ability of individual stocks. While the poor inflation hedging ability of the aggregate stock market has long been documented, there is considerable heterogeneity in how individual stock returns covary with inflation. Stocks with good inflation-hedging abilities since 1990 have had higher returns, on average, than stocks with low inflation betas and tend to be drawn from the Oil and Gas and Technology sectors. However, we show that there is substantial time variation of stock inflation betas. This makes it difficult to construct portfolios of stocks that are good inflation hedges out of sample. This is true for portfolios constructed on past inflation betas, sector portfolios, and portfolios constructed from high-paying dividend stocks.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w17798

Published: “Inflation and Individual Equities,” with Marie Brière and Ombretta Signori, 2012, Financial Analysts Journal, 68, 4, 36-55. Funded by Netspar.

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