Category Archives: Strategy

Dreams to Sell

If there were dreams to sell, a poet asked, what would you buy?  Much more prosaically, if you could design your dream investment process, what would it look like? A simple way to think about the question is to separate success into two dimensions: frequency and magnitude.  Frequency means how often we “win” (i.e., how Read more […]

Unconstrained Sector Weighting: A Feature, Not a Side Effect

Although the low volatility anomaly was first documented more than 40 years ago, it was the trepidation and volatility in the years following the most recent financial crisis that propelled the concept to the forefront of investor interest.  In recent years, the phenomenon has been well covered, by both academics and the investment community, in the Read more […]

Is Diversification Insufficient?

Oil price shocks and a revisit of deflationary concerns in Europe are just some of the “gifts” the New Year has brought in 2015 to increase volatility in global financial markets.  The concern for financial advisors is that loss of invested capital may come with volatility if there is a need or a client decision Read more […]

A VIX for the Energy Sector

As oil prices have fallen, many investors with exposure to energy companies have wisely kept an eye on VIX. But there is another volatility benchmark – one more suited to energy equity investments – which investors should also watch carefully: VXXLE. VXXLE is the ticker for the CBOE Energy Sector ETF Volatility Index. This index has same Read more […]

Data Driven Decisions Replace Forward Guidance

Since the financial crisis, the Fed gave clear signals and advance warnings about shifts in monetary policy. Even the “taper tantrum” in May, 2013 was widely heralded in advance.  Early warnings will soon be a thing of the past.  Instead the Fed will watch the economic reports and will set policy at each meeting based Read more […]

Inside Factors: Value Investing

The godfathers of value investing, Graham and Dodd, pioneered the approach back in the 1930s. Since then, academics and practitioners have documented the value effect. However, given its widespread adoption and implementation, there is still no single consensus as to why value stocks provide above-market returns. Explanations broadly fall into two camps: the rational and Read more […]

European Equities Ripping Into 2015: Is It Just The ECB?

If there is one thing that the large stimulus programs enacted by central banks in the U.S., U.K. and Japan over the past few years have taught us, it is that they provide a whopping boost to equity markets in the short term.  Is that the only reason Europe is doing so well? The European Read more […]

Sustainability Indices: Investment Solutions For Future Generations

Ever since the launch of the first ethical investment fund by Friends Provident in 1984, socially responsible investing has continued to grow. Global assets under management reached EUR 13.6 trillion in 2012, and mutual fund assets in Europe increased by 19% over just two years, from EUR 199.9 billion in 2010 to EUR 237.9 billion Read more […]

Tomorrow’s FOMC Minutes: More of the Same or Hints of Higher Rates

Fed watchers will study the FOMC minutes for hints of the next interest rate move.  However, the most important data – the January employment report – was published more than a week after the FOMC meeting. That report showed strong job growth not just in January but over the last few months as data revisions Read more […]

Currency Wars: Pandering to Debase

So far this year, we have seen a ravenous interest from U.S. investors in currency-hedged equity exposure.  Currency risks have increased; currency volatility is on the up: The reasons behind these trends can be understood in part via the nature of human psychology and power, and the reality of politics. Consider yourself, for a brief Read more […]