Dimensional Fund Advisory Case Summary

In: Business and Management

Submitted By mariannetremblay
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Dimensional Fund Advisory was an investment firm composed of small stocks. This firm believed in the efficient market theory. They believed in diversification to reduce firm specific risk, but they did not rely on indexing or passive investment. They believed in the “small stock effect”: small stocks provide greater returns than large stocks for the same amount of volatility. Their strategy was to invest in small cap stocks based on deciles. They started with the “DFA 9-10 Strategy”, in which they invested in companies chosen from the 9th and 10th deciles of the NYSE, the American Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ. Later, they added the “DFA 6-10 Strategy” and the “DFA 6-7-8 Strategy”.
The implemented an active strategy by searching for attractive purchases. They screened stocks. They looked for impatient or desperate sellers. They rejected stocks that were expected to divulge news soon. They questioned themselves about the seller and the nature of the sells. Once they ensured that sellers were not selling because they had adverse information or negative private information about the stock, they then negotiated for a good price.
DFA had an additional competitive advantage by creating trading efficiencies to reduce transaction cost. They charged an active management fee that was higher than passive management fees, but smaller than what the average active manager charges. It was part of their core beliefs to offer low transaction costs. They traded in blocks to extract a discount on the stock purchase, which in turn reduced transaction costs was able to extract a discount on the stock purchase.
When stocks became too large, they sold them. They eventually added to their original product line until they had a full product line. They turned new academic findings into productive investment strategies. Their products were based on research results from academic sources.…...

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