24 Oct 2016

Prerequisites for Alternative Investments

One of the more popular categories of mutual funds over the past few years have been so-called ‘alternative’ funds.  Alternative investments, broadly defined, are strategies that seek returns that are uncorrelated from traditional investments like stocks and bonds. While alternative investments were once largely confined to private partnerships, they are now popular in mutual funds, or what the industry refers to as ’40 Act Funds.  Following the 2008 financial crisis, alternative… Read More

17 May 2016

PIMCO Shows that Discipline Can Pay Off

Lately, I’ve been interested in looking at strategies that have struggled in the past, in part because some of our strategies are struggling right now. Take value, for example, the strategy of buying cheap stocks with the idea that they outperform the overall market over time.  It’s a tried and true approach dating back to the 1930s, but the last year has been so rough that the 10-year track record… Read More

26 May 2015

Quality Investments Over Quantity Investments

In recent months, I’ve been working to create a set of ‘primers’ that describe certain market factors that we pursue in our strategy in hopes of increasing returns, lower risk, or, in a perfect world, doing both. So far, we’ve looked at three equity factors: size (small companies tend to outperform large companies), value (cheap companies tend to outperform expensive companies) and momentum (stocks that have recently outperformed/underperformed are likely… Read More

21 Apr 2015

Momentum: A Moving Body in Motion

In recent weeks, I’ve written about two well known risk factors, the size premium and the value premium. Today, I’ve got a more difficult topic to cover: momentum.  Virtually everyone agrees that you can find evidence of momentum in the data, but there’s a lot of disagreement about why it exists and how it should or shouldn’t be applied in the real world. In short, momentum is the tendency for stocks that… Read More

14 Apr 2015

A Value Investing Primer

Value investing is perhaps the oldest and best-known investment strategy, which basically suggests that cheap stocks tend to outperform expensive ones. The strategy was first popularized by Benjamin Graham, teacher and mentor to Warren Buffett, who also co-wrote one of the most important books in finance, Security Analysis, with David Dodd in 1934. Graham introduced the idea that stocks have an ‘intrinsic’ value that can be roughly estimated with a… Read More

7 Apr 2015

A Small Cap Primer

In recent weeks, I’ve written about the various risk premiums that have been found in academia that both explain returns and offer some hope of beating the market. Each time, I wished that I could link back to an article that explains the concept more fully, so today, I am going to write the first of a series of articles explaining the well-known risk premiums. First up is the size… Read More