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Guest Posts

The Skorina Report: The ‘hoarding’ hoax, ‘excessive’ private-equity fees and other confusions

Nov 2nd, 2015 | Filed under: Equity Types of Private Equity, Private Equity, Private Investments

Guest columnist Charles Skorina looks at accusations of endowments "hoarding" money on one hand and paying "excessive" fees to private equity managers on the other. Is it time for an intervention?Read More

Biggest Casualty of Crude Oil Price Collapse?

Jan 12th, 2015 | Filed under: Alternative energy

Traditional energy and alternative energy clash as crude prices fall.Read More

China’s Oil Giant At Center Of Corruption Probe

May 27th, 2014 | Filed under: Energy's Ky Krauthamer looks at corruption in China's oil industry.Read More

Funds of Hedge Funds May Be Down, But Don’t Count Them Out

Dec 6th, 2012 | Filed under: Alpha Strategies, Hedge Fund Industry Trends, High-net-worth investors, Institutional Investing

Away from the bleak headlines, the funds of hedge funds industry is quietly reinventing itself.Read More

A Lack of Rigor in ‘The Hedge Fund Mirage’

Nov 15th, 2012 | Filed under:

Andrew Beer looks at the underpinnings of The Hedge Fund Mirage.Read More

Hedge Funds Must Embrace the New Communications Landscape Post-JOBS Act

Oct 30th, 2012 | Filed under:

Nick Lawler on the JOBS Act.Read More

Alpha Hunters: The Macro View

Apr 24th, 2012 | Filed under: Alpha Hunters, Alpha Strategies

By John Brynjolfsson, Armored Wolf The Armored Wolf investment team held its Secular Forum in late March. This is an annual opportunity to step back and discuss major themes in the upcoming investment environment. This was an effort to identify the dominant underlying forces likely to drive asset prices .Read More

Democracy in Greece

Feb 13th, 2012 | Filed under:

Letter to the Editor –John Brynjolfsson The intransigence of the Greek populace is no secret, or covert underground fringe movement. It’s near universal, but for 199 parliamentarians. Though the EU is trying to set up escrow accounts and other controls, it is time for EU to openly acknowledge what EU’sRead More

Alpha Schmalpha: It’s not just ‘Greek’ to investors

Aug 23rd, 2011 | Filed under: Hedge Fund Industry Trends

What's it all about, this alpha? And for that matter, where is it? Dr. Bob Swarup tackles the real meanings of alpha and beta.Read More

Hedge Fund Indexes Learn to Walk Upright: Introducing the Hedge Fund Barometer

Jun 30th, 2011 | Filed under:

Hedge fund indexes have been around for as long as there have been hedge funds to index. As the industry evolves, so too the way it is measured must change. The Hedge Fund Barometer intends to change the way we measure hedge fund performance.Read More

A Pared-Down Approach to Stock Picking

Mar 25th, 2011 | Filed under:

Special to by: Paul Cantor, CFA, portfolio manager and Diane Harrison, Managing Director, Hercules Trading Fund, LLC Investors looking for opportunities in the hedge fund market first need to consider an overall strategy approach. The typical ‘Big Three’ are: 1) Directional, 2) Market-Neutral, and 3) Event-Driven. Directional strategies seekRead More

Is now a good time to jump into the hedge fund waters?

Feb 14th, 2011 | Filed under:

Sure it's hard to start a hedge fund these days. But for some that obviously doesn't matter.Read More

SEC Insider Trading Enforcement: A New Foreboding Tune For Investors

Nov 22nd, 2010 | Filed under:

By: Mikhail Iliev, head writer of Who’s In My Fund? Back in January, AAA asked whether the significant increase in proposed Securities and Exchange Commission examinations heralds a new era for hedge fund oversight. The question looks to be answered soon and most likely in the affirmative – at least inRead More

Switching Horses Mid-Race: How to know when riding different betas creates alpha

Aug 10th, 2010 | Filed under: Performance, Analytics & Metrics

Alpha doesn't always have to come from security selection - as today's guest contributor points out.Read More

How much wood would a woodchuck allocate if a woodchuck would allocate part of his portfolio to wood?

May 19th, 2010 | Filed under: Commodities, Institutional Investing

As alternative investors know, money does grow on trees after all. The trick is: how to harvest it. Read More

What NASCAR Can Teach Us About Return Persistence

Apr 28th, 2010 | Filed under: CAPM / Alpha Theory

At the very least, NASCAR and Formula One share two things in common with the alternative asset management industry...Read More

“Alpha Extension” extended to emerging markets

Feb 28th, 2010 | Filed under:

Advocates of “short-extension” or “alpha-extension” strategies such as 130/30 funds often point out that traditional long-only managers are only able to bet against a stock by as much as that stock represents in the benchmark index.  After all, they argue, you can do no more than simply deciding not toRead More

Comment: “Risk-based compensation” a more equitable approach

Jan 14th, 2010 | Filed under:

The past few years have seen discontent about return-based hedge fund fees growing amongst investors. Here's a proposal from one manager that attempts to balance both risk and return.Read More

Alternative Viewpoints: Due to funds’ lack of persistence, the Sharpe ratio has no validity as an investment decision tool

Oct 29th, 2009 | Filed under:

There have been many studies on hedge fund manager return “persistence”.  Persistence, after all, is a necessary precondition for the existence of alpha.  Like alpha itself, you might expect that the persistence of a good Sharpe ratio may be possible in less mature (more informationally inefficient) markets.  But a newRead More

A Reader Comments…

Oct 2nd, 2009 | Filed under:

The hedge fund space has become "contaminated", says this reader.Read More

Alternative Viewpoints: Using the Modified Sharpe & Information Ratios

Sep 2nd, 2009 | Filed under:

In this month's "Alternative Viewpoints" column, BNY Mellon's Neil Kotecha explains one of the reasons why the Sharpe Ratio isn't so sharp after all.Read More

Prominent researcher finds “Extreme Value Theory” can turn VaR into a better crystal ball

Jun 29th, 2009 | Filed under:

Who knew "Value at Risk" calculation was an extreme sport? Sure, it's not base jumping...But at least one prominent mathematician turned investment researcher says it's not far off. Read More

Investing in hedge funds in emerging markets: the “prudent approach”

Jun 24th, 2009 | Filed under:

Emerging markets are emerging like crazy this spring. So why not just ride the (beta) wave? One expert finds that emerging market alpha can make life a lot more enjoyable.Read More

“Illiquidity Premium” that fuelled endowment returns falls back to 2005 levels

May 7th, 2009 | Filed under:

Is the secret out when it comes to endowment returns? Read More

Alternative Viewpoints: The Ascendancy of Risk Management

Apr 30th, 2009 | Filed under:

As GAIM Ops comes to a close, Abdul Sheikh, CAIA, of State Street argues that independent fund administration is now a no brainer. Read More

Book Review: The Heretics of Finance – Conversations with Leading Practitioners of Technical Analysis

Apr 5th, 2009 | Filed under:

Heretics of Finance may not change the way readers see the markets, but it just might change the way we see those who read the markets.Read More

Niccolo Machiavelli’s Hedge Fund Secrets

Mar 19th, 2009 | Filed under:

In 1513, Niccolo Machiavelli warned Lorenzo d' Medici, ruler of the Florentine Republic about "the inconsistency of prosperity". Did "Black Swan" author Nassim Taleb go back in time to advise Machiavelli? Read this and make up your own mind. Read More

Alternative Viewpoints: Monetizing hedge fund transparency

Mar 3rd, 2009 | Filed under:

What would life be like with full hedge fund transparency? For clues, you needn't look much further than the US requirement to submit "13F" filings. Read More

Financial crisis to slow convergence of hedge funds and private equity, but not for long, says academic

Feb 20th, 2009 | Filed under: Private Equity

The much ballyhooed topic of convergence between hedge funds and private equity has been bumped from the front pages recently by the convergence of financial sector workers and pink slips. But according to one academic (who has the ear of the US Congress), it's not going away any time soon. Read More

Alternative Viewpoints: Alternative Investments in India – Regulatory easing, growth in private equity, and new real estate opportunities

Feb 2nd, 2009 | Filed under: Private Equity

The Indian economy has been in the news a lot recently. But what about alternative investments in the sub-continent?Read More

Jaeger predicts year of alternative beta, the death of “black boxes.” Advocates “scenario based” portfolio construction.

Jan 19th, 2009 | Filed under:

Hedge fund industry watcher and alternative beta advocate Lars Jaeger of Partners Group provides us with his hedge fund predictions in this exclusive.Read More

Alternative Viewpoints: Survivors to Benefit from “Hedge Fund Industry Life Cycle”

Jan 4th, 2009 | Filed under:

Guest contributor Tommaso Sanzin, CAIA says that the natural ebbs and (asset) flows of the hedge fund industry will yield more untapped opportunities and fewer unskilled managers. Read More

Alternative Viewpoints: A “Golden Age” of higher returns, new managers & smaller funds on its way

Nov 30th, 2008 | Filed under:

Peter Douglas, the widely-quoted hedge fund consultant and manager, forecasts golden times ahead for the hedge fund industry - at least, for those who survive.Read More

Comment: The Problem of “Missing Factors” in Hedge Fund Replication

Nov 9th, 2008 | Filed under: Alternative Beta & Hedge Fund Replication

Hedge fund replication using factor models is a balancing act between using so many factors that the model doesn't hold up in the future, and using so few factors that the model doesn't hold up at all. Read More

Comment: Whither the US Dollar?

Nov 6th, 2008 | Filed under:

GUEST CONTRIBUTION BY RONALD SOLBERG, MANAGING DIRECTOR, ARMORED WOLF LLC – The US dollar as measured against six major world currencies has appreciated approximately 19% during the last three months through end-October. In particular, the US Dollar index stands at 85, up from a recent low of 71.3. This trendRead More

Alternative Viewpoints: When the “100 year flood” really is a 100 year flood…

Nov 2nd, 2008 | Filed under:

With the insurance industry in enough trouble as it is, are "cat-bonds" the way forward?Read More

With commodities boom waning, what’s in store now for some of its greatest beneficiaries?

Oct 15th, 2008 | Filed under:

With the commodities boom quickly coming to an end, what's in store for Canada's hedge funds? To help answer this question, one Canadian family office has crunched the numbers and given us permission to show you their full analysis. Read More

Alternative Viewpoints: Pension buyouts can make the bailout plan look small

Oct 5th, 2008 | Filed under:

Despite complaints about Henry Paulson, Alan Greenspan, and Ben Bernanke, the real problems in today's financial system began with German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck. Read More

Comment: It’s time for a bit of Schumpterian “creative destruction”

Oct 2nd, 2008 | Filed under:

Hedge fund manager and author Read More

Whither the Clones?

Sep 17th, 2008 | Filed under:

2007 was a break-through year for so-called "hedge fund replication". But what's up with 2008? Read More

Apples to Apples: the case for liquidity adjustments to hedge fund of funds returns

Sep 15th, 2008 | Filed under:

Are your fund of funds "Granny Smiths" or "Golden Delicious"? Read More

“Higher Moment” Betas

Aug 26th, 2008 | Filed under: Performance, Analytics & Metrics

Thought beta was a pretty down-to-earth concept? That's what we thought too...Read More

What’s behind the drop in mutual fund alpha?

Aug 13th, 2008 | Filed under: CAPM / Alpha Theory, Retail Investing

Like hedge funds, mutual funds are finding true alpha harder to come by. But you might be surprised to learn who is to blame.Read More

Build-Buy-Lease: Three Approaches to Alpha Generation

Aug 3rd, 2008 | Filed under: CAPM / Alpha Theory

If you're a traditional long-only asset manager, one expert has some advice for you. Read More

Alternative Viewpoints: Commodities not about “buy and hold”

Jun 29th, 2008 | Filed under: Hedge Fund Industry Trends

There is little doubt that commodities are hot. But as Keith Black, CAIA, argues: investors must move well beyond simple "buy and hold" strategies.Read More

Is an “integrated” 130/30 portfolio always better than a “combined” one?

Jun 5th, 2008 | Filed under: 130/30

Is 130/30 the same as "100" (an ETF) plus "30/30" (a market neutral fund)? On the surface it seems so, but research for and against this proposition is adding confusion.Read More

Alternative Viewpoints: Raining on the weather/return correlation parade

May 29th, 2008 | Filed under: CAPM / Alpha Theory

We've all heard the old adage "Sell in May and go away". One academic determines if the weather is the source of this apparent market anomaly.Read More

Research puts price on hedge fund “illiquidity premium”

May 6th, 2008 | Filed under: CAPM / Alpha Theory

Lock-ups, redemption gates, notice periods...liquidity has become a major issue in the hedge fund industry - and a new study now tries to put a price on it.Read More

Alternative Viewpoints: Survey of hedge fund professionals finds 130/30 “minor discussion within larger context”

May 4th, 2008 | Filed under: 130/30

Several surveys have probed investors and managers about 130/30. But a new poll of nearly 500 alternative investment professionals contains some new insights. Read More

1X0/X0 and the hunt for African alpha

May 1st, 2008 | Filed under: 130/30

South Africa seems to be getting a lot of play recently - in part due to its position as the world's Fort Knox. But is there alpha in Africa? One reader says "yes!"Read More