Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


Risk-Return Predictions with Fama-French Three Factor Model Betas




Seidman College of Business

Date Range



A three-factor model regime has replaced the CAPM regime in academic research. The CAPM regime may be said to have ended with Fama and French's (1992) finding that market beta does not predict return. Strangely, the three-factor model has not received scrutiny relative to the ability of the model to predict return and variation in return for portfolios. In this paper, we test the ability of estimated betas from the three-factor model to predict future portfolio returns by creating portfolios based on the these factor loadings. In general, our results provide support for a relationship between each of the estimated betas from the three-factor model and future portfolios returns. However, we raise concerns about the use of these estimated values to risk-adjust returns in empirical studies and to judge the performance of portfolio managers. Further, we find that the CAPM beta provides risk-return separation predictions as efficiently as the three-factor model.

Conference Name

Southern Finance Association

Conference Location

Key West, Florida

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