1. Introduction In an influential piece, Sharpe (1991)Sharpe, W.F. 1991. The arithmetic of active management. Financial Analysts Journal, 47(1), pp.7-9.9 put forward the proposition that active investing must be a losing pursuit in aggregate, [...]
One of the recurring themes we see in our research is the concept of "no pain; no gain." Or as Corey Hoffstein says, "No pain, no premium." Cliff Asness may put it best when he [...]
We've covered momentum investing extensively over the years, to include 94 posts, a book on the subject, and numerous discussions on various podcast outlets. There are a few things one notices after thinking about a [...]
As a native Philadelphian and huge basketball fan, I fully agree with the 76ers fan's rally cry -- Trust the Process. Even the players, such as Joel Embiid, have echoed the sentiment of the fans: [...]
Factor investing, and the associated intellectual battles, have raged for decades in academic finance journals. However, now that factor investing has gone mainstream via ETFs, the debate has broader interest among the investing public. Some investors [...]
This article examines a somewhat over-looked, but important, discussion that raged among academic researchers in the late 1990's and early 2000's. The topic: factors versus characteristics. What do you mean, "Factors versus characteristics?" We often [...]
I will be talking on the Factor Investing panel at the upcoming Evidence-Based Investing Conference in Dana Point, CA next Sunday –Tuesday. I am excited for the opportunity to chat, and figured I would highlight [...]
Our Global Value Momentum Trend Index ("GVMT" or "GVMT Index") can be summarized as follows: Turns out that this simple statement summarizes over a decade of research efforts on our end. We've shared [...]
A new paper, "Facts about Formulaic Value Investing," is making the rounds and professes to plunge a dagger directly into the heart of systematic value investors. Half of my inbox is filled with questions regarding this [...]
Albert Einstein is reported to have said the following: The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know. We can relate. Having studied finance for a long time (Ph.D., professor, books, [...]
Executive Summary Employee Stock Ownership Plans (“ESOP”) offer a variety of liquidity, tax and operating benefits to business owners who are contemplating a sale or partial sale of their business. This updatedArticle updated February 6, [...]
Commodity futures investing is arguably the most misunderstood asset class in the financial marketplace. We want to change that state of affairs. Commodity futures strategies are fascinating and can be beneficial to investors. However, commodity futures [...]
Anyone who follows our website should be familiar with the extensive evidence behind our favorite stock selection strategies: Value Investing Momentum Investing The evidence suggests that high-conviction (<50 stock) value and momentum portfolios, deployed as a system, seems like [...]
Empirical asset pricing research can sometimes get monotonous because you end up circling back relentlessly to the same conclusions: value, momentum, trend-following are all interesting, and yet, markets are remarkably competitive (perhaps not efficient). But, sometimes, research [...]
Eugene Fama, the 2014 co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics and father of the efficient market hypothesis, and his equally well-credentialed co-author, Ken French, have summarized the academic research on momentum as follows:Fama, E. [...]
Active management has been out of favor for a while--high fees, high tax burdens, and poor long-term performance. But with the slow rise of actively managed ETFs, which have lower costs and more tax efficiency [...]
We cannot overemphasize that identifying sustainable alpha in the market is no cakewalk. More importantly, being smart, having superior stock-picking skills, or amassing an army of PhDs to crunch data is only half of the equation. Even with those tools, you are still only one shark in a tank filled with other sharks. All sharks are smart, all sharks have a MBA or PhD from a fancy school, and all the sharks know how to analyze a company. Maintaining an edge in these shark infested waters is no small feat, and one that only a handful of investors has accomplished. In order to achieve sustainable success as an active investor, one needs not only skill, but also an understanding of human psychology, and an appreciation of market incentives (behavioral finance). We start our journey where mine began: as an aspiring PhD student studying at the University of Chicago. Let the adventure begin... This post is not meant to convert a passive investor into an active investor; however, we do explain why we believe active investing can sustainably beat passive strategies in the long run. Plus, we bring to bear many years of cumulative research and experience to support our arguments. We cannot overemphasize that alpha in the market is no cakewalk. More importantly, being smart, having superior stockpicking skills, or amassing an army of PhDs to crunch data is only half of the equation. Even with those tools, you are still only one shark in a tank filled with other sharks. All sharks are smart, all sharks have a MBA or PhD from a fancy school, and all the sharks know how to analyze a company. Maintaining an edge in these shark infested waters is no small feat, and one that only a handful (e.g., we can count them in one hand) of investors has successfully accomplished. In order too achieve sustainable success as an active investing, one needs both skill and an understanding of human psychology and market incentives (behavioral finance). We start our journey where mine began: as an aspiring PhD student studying under Eugene Fama at the University of Chicago. Let the adventure begin...
Simple timing rules, focused on absolute and trending asset class performance, seem to be useful in a downside protection context. Our analysis of the downside protection model (DPM), applied on various market indices, indicates there is a possibility of lowering maximum drawdown risk, while also offering a chance to participate in the upside associated with a given asset class. Important to note, applying the DPM to a portfolio will not eliminate volatility and the portfolio will deviate (perhaps wildly) from standard benchmarks. For many investors, these are risky propositions and should be considered when using a DPM construct.
Serving in the Marine Corps was an unforgettable experience. Civilians often tell us “thank you for your service”; however, the real “thanks” is due to the Corps for giving us valuable life lessons. The not-so subtle teachings bestowed upon us by heavily muscled, insanely aggressive Marine Corps Drill Sergeants are still, literally, ringing in our ears: “Listen here, pond scum, you better run faster, shoot straighter, and decide quicker if you are going to win in battle!” Years later, we would test that theory in real-time, battling insurgents in Iraq. As we trade in our flak jackets for laptops and neckties, the lessons learned in combat and are not only relevant, but vital on the battlefield of high finance. Four core lessons apply to frontlines and finance: Humans Are Emotional: Systematic processes beat behavioral bias; Rambo isn't Realistic: Act based on evidence, not on stories; Complacency Kills: Focus on fundamentals and never stop learning; Integrity is Everything: Do things right and do the right thing.
How Should I Tactically Allocate my Assets? A lot of investors ask this question as their wealth grows and the number of financial products grows exponentially. In order to generate a response, investors pay money to [...]