The hedge fund universe has become a much more complicated place since 2008. The old-school hedge funds offering only quarterly redemptions with at least one month notice are no longer the only option for those seeking alternatives plays. And those who are seeking such plays may be somewhat confused by the proliferation of possibilities.
Regular readers of AllAboutAlpha know that Bayesianism, a movement with the world of probability and statistics, has a good deal to do with contemporary pricing models and portfolio theory. It also has foes in that world, the frequentists, and a 2012 cartoon, recently raised to salience again by a Facebook post, has given those frequentists reason to gripe about Bayesian smugness.
There are certain deals that banks don't want to touch with the longest lance in a joust. That doesn't mean the deals don't get done: it means they go by default to the non-bank financiers. We look at the divide.
Most efforts to introduce "entropy" into finance have seen it as a quantity to be minimized. A new paper, which begins as an effort to explain barbell portfolios, uses entropy in a different manner. Unfortunately, it doesn't really end up clarifying those barbells.
Guest columnist Diane Harrison looks at both sides of the quantitative investment debate.
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 new survey from Natixis tells us that a lot of asset-managing institutions think their industry as a whole has been quite slow about moving in the direction of liability-driven investment strategies. Also, more than half believe traditional assets are too correlated to provide them with the diversification they need.
A regime switching model may treat a high-volatility environment as one “regime,” and a low-vol environment as its successor regime. The idea, as it applies to risk management, then, is simply to be ready in either setting for the switch to the other. This is both playing defense and playing offense. It is both managing risk and pursuing alpha.
Only two hedge fund strategies performed in the positive numbers in October, the rest were all in the red. Managed futures did best, according to the Eurekahedge numbers, benefitting from their short positions on oil prices.
A Bank of England paper discuses the "cover 2" standard for the adequacy of the default funds of central clearing houses, an issue of increasing importance as the push to centrally-clear everything picks up steam. One question it raises somewhat incidentally is the proper pronunciation of the acronym SLOIM, for "stressed losses over initial margins."
When should customized risk models win out over the standard sort? According to two authors of a new report, there are seven factors, starting with the time horizon.
The eight authors of a new study seek to add to “the existing literature of Bayesian VaR methods by … considering the … general class of Burr XII extreme value distributions “ and by estimating error bounds. After having a little fun we try to puzzle out what that means.
How address issues of supply/demand imbalance in the world of collateral requirements? Custodians can do a good deal on behalf of their customers here, and are exploring just how much.
In a new report, ESMA discovers that some investors may be guilty of "over-reliance on continued policy support." I gather that means that investors believe that central bankers and governments will play the role of Santa Claus indefinitely.
For an investor allocating slots in its portfolio to hedge funds, the draw of recent outsized performance can be powerful. Thus, the temptation to chase winners. But two members of the Hedge Fund Strategies Group at Commonfund caution against it.
Let's not make clearinghouses too big to fail. Or if, through, Dodd-Frank, we already have, let's turn back and reconsider that decision. That's how not to end up bailing them out or nationalizing them in due course.
Despite what the title (Deflating the Sharpe Ratio) might cause a naïve observer to suspect, de Prado's recent presentation was more pro than con the ratio in question. Mend it, don't end it.
If such institutions as the ECB keep rewarding indebtedness, then over time they get their way. They'll get a lot of deal making, even if it amounts to a frenzy. Then investors will demand funds that play to that frenzy.
Guest columnist Donna Howe, CFA, looks at the different aspects of private equity and the associated risks.
Europe's pension fund managers embrace LDI quite generally, and many embrace the "dynamic" version of that strategy. But four scholars at EDHEC find it curious they don't do so for the right reason -- they don't seem to see LDI as the risk-management imperative it is.
As the TABB Group and SEI remind us in a new report, "Reinventing Buy-side Infrastructure," the legacy systems widely in use on the Buy side are inadequate to post-legacy challenges, both for traditional and for alternatives managers. There's got to be a better way.
Sophisticated institutional investors contracting with outside active managers can get positive alpha out of the U.S. equities markets, despite the arithmetical and a priori reasons for skepticism.
But Basel is still part of the multinational push to fit the peg of credit derivatives into the square hole of standardized contracts and central clearing. Is the peg going to fit?
The patent dispute at issue before the Supreme Court March 31st involved a computerized escrow system that serves as a third party to a deal, eliminating settlement risk. A business-method patent, in short: nothing at all to do with speed of execution, or data compression, or other such trading-infrastructure-related feats.
Early on in this book the author mentions that Deutsche Bank has made a small play in Royal Boskalis, a Dutch dredging and infrastructure company, one which may be in a position to capitalize on rising sea levels by building the sea walls this will require.
The story told here of Bruce Kovner and a botched soybeans trade conveys a lesson about the value of persistence, and a lesson about risk management.
Hoarding bad news bears this meaning: at some point a lot of bad news is going to break through the informational dam all at once, producing a flood, that is, a firm-specific crash.
Financial firms still have people manually implementing Excel spreadsheets in connection with various mandated stress tests, a fact that suggests to a Celent research director that Fred Flintstone runs the back office.
That gadfly of financial modelers and quants is back. This time, Taleb writes in such a way as to establish that he isn't a mere popularize/diluter of familiar academic arguments -- which is how the critics of many of his earlier books have painted him. And them.
The multi-state, multi-national law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman has offered its clients, especially the banking entities among them, a guide to the principal elements of the newly finalized Volcker Rule, and it touches upon several significant concerns that industry participants have expressed.
Deloitte's pie graphs emphasize the degree to which both hedge funds and PE vehicles have become dependent upon institutions in general, and detached from the retail market. But Deloitte says that 2014 "will likely see additional efforts by alternative fund managers to engage the retail investor base by taking their alternative investment strategies mainstream."
The need for risk management in general and, more specifically, the inability of HNW Chinese otherwise to hedge against RMB exchange risk, is driving them to invest overseas.
Does your risk management policies cover the "blue screen of death?" Maybe they should. Guest author Stephanie Hammer looks at the growing risk associated with technology and it's not just for high-frequency traders.
The U.S. Supreme Court has now agreed to hear arguments about Alice, litigation that squarely raises a question with which lower courts have struggled ever since the Bilski decision in 2010 failed to offer them any guidance: is all software 'abstract' in the legal sense, and thus as such unpatentable? If not, then what is the legal sense of "abstract"?
Guest columnists from Tesseract Asset Management look at investor behavior and risk management.
Guest columnist firm Tesseract on charting proper risk management in rapidly changing seas.
Guest columnist firm Tesseract looks at mainstream asset allocation and its various risks.
A newly issued report by the Bank for International Settlements speaks volumes about what is happening to the world banking system as the new millennium enters its troubled teen years. I refer to the special feature, “How have banks adjusted to higher capital requirements?” written by Benjamin Cohen and included with the BIS’ latest quarterly […]
Risk aversion is a foundational consideration in finance. Oddly, the examples usually given to explain it sound a bit like incidents from an old game show with Monty Hall.
CAIA curriculum writers look at the most important metrics.
The arrest of Rajaratnam almost four years ago and the subsequent anti-insider enforcement activity doesn't of course come as news. But it raises fascinating questions about consequences: what have been the consequences amongst traders?
Generalized considerations about equity and mean reversion have been institutionalized with the creation of glide path or "life-cycle" funds. but the authors of a new EDHEC paper contend that the glide paths defined by these funds don't represent the optimal approach to portfolio allocation.
Vikas Shah discusses fixed-income risk management with Kevin Anderson, SSgA.
In Jack Schwager's view, the hedge fund industry as a whole is not a "mirage" at all. But relying on the past track record of specific funds or strategies: that is a dangerous reliance upon a mirage. Perhaps suggest that Grandma should put her nest egg in a diversified fund of funds.
As David Belmont reminds us in his new paper for the Commonfund Institute, in the U.S. there are limits on the practrice of rehypothecation. A broker can only reuse in this way assets of up to 140 percent of the value of the client's liability to said broker. Intriguingly, in the U.K. there are no such statutory limits.
SEI put together a 10-part guide as an effective risk management tool to set the foundation for operational excellence. Below are excerpts from chapters nine and ten, now available for download at www.seic.com/OpsSurvivalGuide.
The notion of a flight to safety has never before sounded so paradoxical. The impending fiscal cliff illustrates the unsustainable fiscal position of the U.S. Treasury, and the uncertainties this creates may generate a flight to the presumed safety of ... U.S. Treasuries.
Operational risk within investment management firms can stem from many sources. Firms also have varying tolerance levels for accepting or handling such risk. SEI believes virtually every firm can benefit from taking a fresh look at common areas of risk and consider the variety of relatively straightforward risk management measures that can readily be deployed. […]
Operational risk within investment management firms can stem from many sources. Firms also have varying tolerance levels for accepting or handling such risk.
It is not simply that VaR as classically formulated presumes a Bell curve with the very narrow tails that implies (although that is one of Stephen Rahl's criticisms in his contribution to this book, it is by now pretty much everybody's criticism). Other problems are: that VaR treats the past as the guarantor of the future, and that it arbitrarily identifies variance with risk.