Is 130/30 Always “High Conviction”?

Jul 25th, 2007 | Filed under: 130/30 | By:
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We see so many reports these days of new 130/30, 120/20, (1X0/X0) launches that we’ve essentially stopped posting them in the scrolling “alpha ticker” at the top of your screen.  Suffice to say, if your asset manager has a pulse, its probably launching or talking about launching some sort of “short extension” strategy.

But this article by Thomson IM about Investec’s new 130/30 and 120/20 funds raises an interesting question about the primary value proposition of 1X0/X0 funds.  The article is titled:

Investec launches high conviction Global Extension long/short strategy
New fund will give manager James Hand the ability to back himself and turn standard long only fund into 120/20 or 130/30 strategy

The article draws on a veritable fruit salad of alpha-centric buzzwords to describe this fund.  Most, but not all, are synonymous.  While terms like “short extension”, “130/30″, “120/20″, and “long/short” essentially mean the same thing, we don’t think such a fund necessarily involves “high conviction”.

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  1. [...] 130/30-type funds have become popular in that they are designed to allow institutional investors to have greater latitude to implement security selection while maintaining a (relatively) constrained risk profile. This is in contrast with many hedge funds where risk parameters are entirely less rigid. The always excellent All About Alpha blog has a post up on the question of whether 130/30 or 1X0/X0 funds are really and truly “high conviction” investment vehicles.  As they write: Therefore, if you’re looking for a concentrated fund, don’t assume that 130/30 fund necessarily fits the bill. In the end, a particular 1X0/X0 strategy might not actually be ”high conviction” at all. The irony is that 1X0/X0 strategies actually represent a way for managers to express more of their beliefs, not to necessarily express those same beliefs with a “higher conviction”. [...]

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