| |A close look at all of the HFR hedge fund index returns over the last three years shows a significant amount of clustering of styles with the only outliers associated with country and sector indices. For 60 indices, the average three year (May 2014 – May 2017) annualized return was 3.04 percent and the average annualized volatility was 5.61 percent. Outliers are focused on sector indices like technology and energy and country or regional indices like India or Latin America … Read more Clustering of Hedge Fund Returns – Where is the Difference?
| |The FTSE Russell annual survey on smart beta does a good job at describing trends in investor thinking with respect to this growing area of portfolio allocation. Smart beta is extending its breath and reach to other asset classes as well as a wider selection of risk premiums and formats. What is still clear is that investors are looking for smart beta in all forms to help with risk reduction and improve diversification. These are the number one and three reasons for holding exposures. Nevertheless, the fastest growing investment objective is cost savings. It is likely that smart beta is being used as a substitute for more expensive active management. … Read more Smart Beta – Why Look at these Investments? Diversification
| |I listened to a number of presentations concerning crisis alpha and crisis offset at a recent hedge fund conference. The idea of holding assets and strategies that will do well in “bad times” is a critical issue for any portfolio construction discussion. It is the bedrock and foundation of any portfolio that attempts to protect against bad states of nature, control risk, and gain during good times … Read more Can Momentum and Diversifications Solve Every Investment Problem? Perhaps.
| |There has been much discussion about benchmarks and beta with hedge funds, but it is important to take a step-back and discuss how active returns are generated. Active management can be divided into two parts, the style used and the skill employed within that style. You can call a style a risk premium as is the case for value or small investing; however, all returns from styles may not be from risk premiums. Style is simply a descriptor or means for generating returns. Skill comes with the method of employing the style. Within a style, some managers are better at it than others … Read more Two Components of Active Management, Style and Skill – Investors Need to Choose both Wisely
| |Most of our quants have a computer-science background. They can code in either Python or C++. Whereas on the discretionary side most of them come from a more traditional investment-banking background and are digging into 8-Ks and company fundamentals and being able to look at companies from a bottom-up perspective as compared to trying to use many different data sets to help predict the prices of stocks. -Ryan Tolkin CIO Schonfeld Strategic Advisors As the old joke says, “There are only two types of people – those that type others and those who do not.” However, this dichotomy may be applicable for current money management. There are two camps of analysis, the quants who are looking for repeatable behavior in data and the discretionary analysts who are looking for unique or special situations across markets. The quant plays the averages and the probabilities while the other places value on what cannot be counted and handicapped. One focuses on the numbers while the other looks for the firm story as a thesis for investing … Read more Quants vs. Discretionary – Numbers vs. Story – Is One Better?
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