Recent research reveals that hedge fund returns exhibit a range of different,possibly non-linear pay-off patterns. It is difficult to qualify all these patternssimultaneously as being rational in a traditional framework for optimal financial decisionmaking. In this paper we present a simple model based on loss aversion that can accommodatefor all of these pay-off structures in one unifying framework. We provide evidence thatloss-aversion is a likely assumption for management as well as investor preferences.Following the current empirical literature, we solve a static asset allocation problem thatincludes a nonlinear instrument. We show analytically that four different pay-off functionsmay be rationally optimal. The key parameter in determining which of these four to choosein a specific setting, is the financial planner's surplus. The notion of surplus connectshedge fund manager's incentive schemes with the idea of mental accounting as proposed inrecent behavioral finance research.
hedge funds performance measurement loss aversion behavioral finance