Instant History Bias

Definition of 'Instant History Bias'


An inaccuracy in the appearance of investment fund returns that occurs when only new, successful funds report their numbers while new, unsuccessful funds close and their poor returns aren't factored into an investment manager's or investment type's overall performance record.

Instant history bias, which especially occurs in hedge funds, is also called "backfill bias" because hedge fund managers may choose not report fund performance to a database from the fund's inception, but instead choose to "backfill" the database later when they have established a track record of success with a fund.

Investopedia explains 'Instant History Bias'


Other types of bias that exist in hedge fund reporting include survivorship bias (the inaccurate appearance of high returns because poorly performing funds are closed and their returns are not counted) and non-reporting bias (the inaccurate reporting of overall returns because some funds, probably poorly performing ones, decline to report their returns).

These types of bias may make hedge funds appear to be a better-performing asset type than they really are, because hedge fund managers can choose whether to report the performance of their funds.


Filed Under:

comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Genuine Progress Indicator - GPI

    A metric used to measure the economic growth of a country. It is often considered as a replacement to the more well known gross domestic product (GDP) economic indicator. The GPI indicator takes everything the GDP uses into account, but also adds other figures that represent the cost of the negative effects related to economic activity (such as the cost of crime, cost of ozone depletion and cost of resource depletion, among others).
  2. Accelerated Share Repurchase - ASR

    A specific method by which corporations can repurchase outstanding shares of their stock. The accelerated share repurchase (ASR) is usually accomplished by the corporation purchasing shares of its stock from an investment bank. The investment bank borrows the shares from clients or share lenders and sells them to the company.
  3. Microeconomic Pricing Model

    A model of the way prices are set within a market for a given good. According to this model, prices are set based on the balance of supply and demand in the market. In general, profit incentives are said to resemble an "invisible hand" that guides competing participants to an equilibrium price. The demand curve in this model is determined by consumers attempting to maximize their utility, given their budget.
  4. Centralized Market

    A financial market structure that consists of having all orders routed to one central exchange with no other competing market. The quoted prices of the various securities listed on the exchange represent the only price that is available to investors seeking to buy or sell the specific asset.
  5. Balanced Investment Strategy

    A portfolio allocation and management method aimed at balancing risk and return. Such portfolios are generally divided equally between equities and fixed-income securities.
  6. Negative Carry

    A situation in which the cost of holding a security exceeds the yield earned. A negative carry situation is typically undesirable because it means the investor is losing money. An investor might, however, achieve a positive after-tax yield on a negative carry trade if the investment comes with tax advantages, as might be the case with a bond whose interest payments were nontaxable.
Trading Center