Implementing Momentum: What Have We Learned?

December 26, 2017

Working Paper

An abundance of academic evidence and theory exists on the efficacy and intuition behind momentum investing, yet a limited number of studies discuss the feasibility of running momentum portfolios in practice. And no study to date has directly analyzed implementation costs for a live momentum portfolio.

As a result, many are still quick to dismiss momentum as difficult or costly to implement because of its high turnover. In this paper, we use seven years of live data to evaluate the implementability of momentum investing. We show that momentum portfolios have been capable of capturing the momentum premium, even after accounting for expenses, estimated trading costs, taxes, and other frictions associated with real-life portfolios.



  • The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of AQR Capital Management, LLC, its affiliates or its employees.
  • The information contained herein is only as current as of the date indicated, and may be superseded by subsequent market events or for other reasons. Neither the author nor AQR undertakes to advise you of any changes in the views expressed herein.
  • This information is not intended to, and does not relate specifically to any investment strategy or product that AQR offers. It is being provided merely to provide a framework to assist in the implementation of an investor’s own analysis and an investor’s own view on the topic discussed herein.
  • Past performance is no guarantee of future results.