A useful benchmark or a dangerous prop? Guest columnist Andrew Beer looks at the hidden dangers in indices.
Eurekahedge tells us that hedge funds were in the black 4.57% in 2014. That's hardly cause for celebration, since the MSCI World Index returned 6.79% over the same year. But all eyes now turn to the still-sliding price of oil.
A new paper by Eric Falkenstein discusses an old question: the reason for the high risk-adjusted return in low-risk equities, and the adjustments it requires in CAPM. This is no fleeting oddity, but a lasting characteristic of markets. In econo-speak, not only the existence but the persistence of the anomaly requires explanation.
The newly called snap elections in Greece will serve as a contest between pro-austerity and anti-austerity forces. Anti-austerity means abandoning the bail-out deal, and that position now seems the likely victor.
Brad Case, Ph.D., CFA, CAIA, guest columnist, continues his series on U.S. real estate benchmarks as he looks at the NCREIF Property Index.
A report focuses on the life and spending habits of the 211,275 wealthiest individuals on the planet, and their network of family and friends.
India accounts for much of the positive showing of Asia ex-Japan in the hedge fund world YTD. That positive showing, in turn, may be attracting asset flow.
If we look for the recent peak in Dow Jones U.S. oil & gas stocks we’ll look to the start of the summer. In June of this year the energy sector got above $850. The fall from that height puts the size of our correction in the neighborhood of 16%. It is possible these stocks are leading the rest of the market down.
For many fund managers working in Southeast Asia, and/or China, June 2014 was “listless,” with numbers that suggest a flat tire. The booms on the ASEAN bourses are concentrated where the fund managers aren’t, in “high beta cyclical sectors.”
There exists “robust evidence of informed trading during lockup periods ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee … monetary policy announcements” say three authors. Some agencies can embargo news effectively. The FOMC doesn't seem to be among them.
GFIA says that most of the Asia Pacific managers it tracks generated substantial returns above the relevant index in May 2014. The long-biased firms did best there, their event-driven peers … not so much.
Europe's index providers, by their own account, already have strong incentives to offer optimal transparency and, in their self-interest, they do so. A survey and report from EDHEC examines this claim.
The latest news from Eurekahedge shows a spotty performance for the global hedge fund industry in April, and generally in the year to date. The report also makes a casual remark about low inflation numbers that gives our Christopher Faille an opportunity to grouse about its Keynesian premises.
The Big Items subsector of the luxury industry sells yachts, private jets, etc. Fifty-eight percent of the respondents in this subsector told researchers that they would soon increase their digital footprint as part of a growth strategy.
Big Items" luxury is the subsector of the luxury industry that involves the marketing and sale of yachts and private jets. A full 87% of the respondents from that subsector expect growth in revenue this quarter.
I would expect that some numbers-thirsty alpha seekers have suffered a reaction in recent days -- since the budget impasse -- analogous to that of the regular customer of a bottle shop who arrives there at the usual time only to find a "Closed" sign unaccountably still front-and-center.
The success of low-volatility strategies has been noted in the literature at least since the mid-1970s, with the publication of a seminal work by Haugen and Heins. And such strategies continue to prove successful today. Why do they still work? Why don't the excess profits draw in the bears, consuming all the picnic baskets, driving profit levels down to normal?
Any quantitative strategy is susceptible to being reduced to an index, and along with this, to transparency and routine. Once this happens, that "alpha" becomes "beta," and the 2 + 20 fees are no longer available. A manager in search of alpha will have to move beyond that strategy, peeling away that layer of the onion and going to a deeper, not-yet-indexable, strategy.
Since transaction costs and the illiquidity of certain portions of an index make ideal tracking impossible, there will be a difference between the return of a tracking ETF, such as those tracking ETFs that are structured as UCITS in Europe, and the return of the underlying index or benchmark. The European Securities and Markets Authority maintains that investors should be informed of the factors that are likely to affect the size and the volatility of this difference.