Tag Archives: diversification

The Consequences of Concentration: 3 – Higher Costs

Some active managers argue that the remedy for widespread active underperformance is more aggressive, more concentrated portfolios.  If this is the correct prescription, it has a number of adverse side effects — for example, risk is likely to increase, and the relative importance of skill and luck in decision making is likely to shift in luck’s favor. A Read more […]

The Consequences of Concentration: 2 – Luck Ascendant

Is the remedy for active managers’ well-known performance difficulties to become more active? Some observers think so, and argue that less diversified, more concentrated portfolios should be the wave of active management’s future.  But there are a number of adverse consequences to concentration — for example, risk is likely to increase.   A second consequence is that in manager Read more […]

The Consequences of Concentration: 1 – More Risk

Most active managers fail most of the time, at least if we regard their underperformance of passive benchmarks as indicative of failure.   This fact is so well known and widely documented that even staunch advocates of active management acknowledge it. What remains in dispute is what should be done to improve performance.  Some argue that active Read more […]

S&P U.S. High Quality Preferred Stock Index: A Venn of an Index

Similar to the Venn diagram in which the overlapping section of circles is the focus, the S&P U.S. High Quality Preferred Stock Index is designed to measure preferred securities that are constituents of both the fixed-rate and investment-grade preferred stock indices. Exhibit 1: S&P U.S. Preferred Stock Indices Hierarchy The weight of cumulative preferred stocks Read more […]

Why This New Way To Invest In Oil In Hong Kong Matters

Now, there has been a long bull market where stocks have outperformed commodities for eight consecutive years, ending in 2015. It’s a record. If markets behaved just as they have in the past, then some investors might say it’s time to switch asset classes. However, the high correlation between risky assets experienced recently like during the Read more […]

Homes In These Two Cities May Shelter Better Than Gold

Gold is on the rise this year as investors seek shelter from the volatility in the stock and oil markets. While 90-day annualized volatility of oil, around 50%, is the highest since April last year, and is near its 2001 peak, it’s not near the high levels of 2008 or 1991. Also, the open interest that Read more […]

When Diversification Fails

It has been the worst start in history for both stocks and commodities, and while rare, it is no accident.  Fundamentally, this environment is the worst ever.  It is like the demand crisis of 2008-9 combined with the supply war of 1985-6  – WITH a strong dollar. The oil drop from the peak in June 2014 is Read more […]

The Sources of Volatility and the Challenge for Active Management

If we needed a reminder of the continuing volatility of the world’s financial markets, the first weeks of 2016 obliged us by providing one.  What’s often overlooked, especially when volatility spikes, is that there are two distinct sources of volatility.  Understanding them can not only enhance our appreciation of market dynamics, but also provides some important insights for Read more […]

Terror Attack On Paris May Shift The Oil War

Geopolitical developments often have a major impact on oil prices since they can affect oil supply directly and since the threat of future supply disruptions can also build a risk premium into oil prices. As a notable example, in the early part of 2014, conflicts in Libya and Iraq led to temporary outages in their Read more […]

Timing Gold Is A Fool’s Errand

“I don’t agree with you Jodie…..Gold is in a bear market….too early to put some money in the yellow metal….” is a comment from the article recently posted by the Economic Times asking the question, “Where do you see the gold prices making a bottom as every fundamental turns unfavorable for gold?”  We love your comments expressing your opinions Read more […]