Author: Greg Taunt

As IASG Vice President, Greg Taunt helps clients navigate the futures industry and find the best managers for their risk tolerance and portfolio needs. He specializes in maximizing portfolio effectiveness to potentially reduce risk while increasing returns through the use of managed accounts in non-correlated vehicles. Previously, Greg served as Midwest Regional Wholesaler for Superfund Asset Management, a $2 billion trend-following CTA working with brokers and registered investment advisors. Before that, he worked in the insurance industry, providing risk management solutions to financial institutions in the Midwest. Greg holds a B.A. in finance from Michigan State University and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. He is licensed as a Series 3 Commodity Broker, a Series 34 Forex Broker, and a Series 7, Series 24, and Series 63 Securities Broker.
  • Call me a Pessimist

    | | Economy

    All investors know the adage to “buy high and sell low” but few adhere to it.  We can see this with record volume to start July trading coming mostly from retail investors as the S&P reaches another all time high.  Perhaps I have been in the futures industry too long because when things are “too good” I get concerned.  Oftentimes I am right though, even for accidental reasons.   Oddly, the current period looks pretty similar to a time of recent memory.  Coming into February of 2020 the economy was on fire with record low unemployment, a rising stock market, and … Read more Call me a Pessimist
  • Hedging an equity portfolio: Volatility

    | | Strategy

    We opined in our last article that “Traditional Hedges Suck” that most traditional hedges had significant weaknesses and did not have many characteristics of a great hedge.  Volatility (long positions in VIX futures), while not perfect, has a number of these favorable characteristics for hedging an equity portfolio. The characteristics of a great equity hedge are three-fold: Makes more money in down markets that it loses in up markets; therefore, the hedge improves the risk adjusted returns of the portfolio. If the risk adjusted return is improved, the investor can either have less risk on the same investment size OR … Read more Hedging an equity portfolio: Volatility
  • A Better SPY?

    | | Investment Strategies

    Index investing is all the rage now with over a trillion dollars invested in the SPY and VOO ETFs alone.  The expectation is that low fees coupled with broad market exposure is better for your portfolio than an actively managed strategy with higher fees. One could argue that as the components of the indices attract more of the capital flow that these names really do drive the market and even a “diversified portfolio” often correlates highly to a simple index. I believe strongly that everyone should have some equity exposure but is there a better way to do it? Futures … Read more A Better SPY?
  • When Good News is Bad

    | | Markets

    My favorite analogy for passive investing describes two men sitting at a bar. One is drunk and the other sober.  When the night is over the sober man leads the other home to make sure he gets there safely. Historically, hedge funds and active investors pored over financials, looked at P/E ratios, and listened to earnings calls to decide when to invest.  Passive investors just went long an index fund and hoped that the others did a good job leading prices to their logical equilibrium point.  Thus the active investors could lead them home safely.  Today, “the drunks” are leading … Read more When Good News is Bad
  • Inflation Coming?

    | | Economics

    Want to play a “fun” game?  Simply go to Google and type “currency crisis (insert any country name)” and see your results.  Luckily for Americans, you will find that the United States is one of the few countries that seems to have avoided this designation so far.  As one of my Polish friends who immigrated asked me though, “Why do people think it can’t happen here?”  After all, as he was growing up, cigarettes went from $0.50 a pack on Monday to a dollar by Wednesday and two dollars by the weekend.  “Of course it can happen here.  It happens … Read more Inflation Coming?