Browsing: Financial Economics Theory

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Financial Economics Theory

Past performance guarantees no future results

Oct 17th, 2019 | Filed under: Newly Added, Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, The A.I. Industry, Financial Economics Theory, Risk management, Business News, Risk Management Strategies & Processes, Finance & Economics

Since, as everyone says, “past performance is no guarantee of future results,” a history of close correlation between two assets, or between a single asset and a benchmark, is no guarantee of future correlation. The threat that a correlation upon which a particular investor has relied will cease to applyRead More


The Persistence of the Low-Risk Effect

Oct 10th, 2019 | Filed under: Newly Added, CAPM / Alpha Theory, Hedge Fund Strategies, The A.I. Industry, Financial Economics Theory, Alpha Strategies, Hedge Funds, Finance & Economics

The “volatility effect,” also known as the “low-risk effect,” is the subject of a new paper from Robeco. The gist of the “effect” is this: low-risk stocks “should” show a lesser return than high-risk stocks. The Capital Asset Pricing Model predicts a linear relationship between the risk of a securityRead More


What Hedge Funds Do When the Lights Go Out

Aug 13th, 2019 | Filed under: Newly Added, CAPM / Alpha Theory, The A.I. Industry, Equity Hedge Funds, Financial Economics Theory, Hedge Funds, Finance & Economics

A new paper looks at how hedge funds adjust their information acquisition and trading behavior as analyst coverage changes—and more specifically, when certain stocks cease to be covered by certain analysts. These authors considered the hypothesis that, faced with a murkier environment, hedge funds might become more cautious, reducing theirRead More


The Verdict Is In: It’s a Soft Landing for the Global Economy

Aug 1st, 2019 | Filed under: Newly Added, The A.I. Industry, Financial Economics Theory, The Global Economy & Currencies, Economics, Macroeconomics, Finance & Economics

Neuberger Berman has long pressed the investment thesis that the prolonged recovery from the depths of the Global Financial Crisis would end, when it ended, with a “soft landing.” There will be a slowing of growth, and with that an increase in volatility, but it need not involve a “hard”Read More


Active Risk Budgeting Gets Consistent Alpha

Jul 28th, 2019 | Filed under: Newly Added, CAPM / Alpha Theory, The A.I. Industry, Financial Economics Theory, Risk management, Risk Metrics and Measurement, Risk Management Strategies & Processes, Risk Management & Operations, Finance & Economics

A new paper takes an experimental look at “Active Risk Budgeting,” a method of portfolio construction that looks to build upon older and sometimes passive risk budgeting approaches, adding enough active management to allow the risk budget to change over time. For example, an institution might want its risk budgetRead More


Bayesian Probability Theory and a Hierarchical Learning Portfolio

Mar 19th, 2019 | Filed under: Newly Added, Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, The A.I. Industry, Financial Economics Theory, The Global Economy & Currencies, Business News, Finance & Economics

Two scholars working with Bayesian probability theory recently published a fascinating discussion of market timing and portfolio efficiency. They have proposed what they call a “hierarchical ensemble learning portfolio.” Yes, that sounds rather heavy on the jargon. We’ll break it down a bit in what follows. The authors of theRead More


Alpha: The Rise of the Middle Class in Emerging Markets

Feb 21st, 2019 | Filed under: Newly Added, The A.I. Industry, Investing in Commodities, Financial Economics Theory, The Global Economy & Currencies, Emerging markets, Commodities, Finance & Economics

A new paper from State Street Global Advisors takes a sociological approach to the search for alpha in emerging market nations. It contends that the “major theme for growth” in the emerging markets moving forward will be “based on the rise of the middle class and rising consumption in theseRead More


Smart Beta and Tail Events

Feb 5th, 2019 | Filed under: Newly Added, The A.I. Industry, Financial Economics Theory, Liquid Alternative Investiments, Business News, Smart Beta, Finance & Economics, Other Topics in A.I.

A sound “portfolio optimization strategy” is one that takes into consideration how its assets are behaving in the bad times, those that represent the left-side tail of the bell curve. This is not all that novel an idea, but Maria Kartsakli and Felix Schlumpf, Zurich Insurance Company executives, give itRead More


Who Cares What Employees Think? Hedge Funds, That’s Who

Feb 3rd, 2019 | Filed under: Newly Added, The A.I. Industry, Equity Hedge Funds, Behavioral finance, Hedge Funds, Finance & Economics

The bosses of a publicly listed company had better care what their employees think about their company, because “Mr. Market” cares. That is one natural inference from a new paper by Jinfei Sheng, of the Paul Merage School of Business, University of California, Irvine, who looks at how the opinionsRead More


How Bayesians Solve the Markowitz Problem

Jan 13th, 2019 | Filed under: Newly Added, CAPM / Alpha Theory, Financial Economics Theory, Behavioral finance, The Global Economy & Currencies, Macroeconomics, Finance & Economics

Understanding of the “Markowitz problem” has changed in the 60+ years since Harry Markowitz’ publication of an article in the Journal of Finance that outlined the basics of modern portfolio theory. The problem is that portfolio theory requires an investor to estimate risk, return, and correlation from market data, meaningRead More


‘Great Moderation?’ Forget about it, says new Fed working paper

Jan 10th, 2019 | Filed under: Newly Added, The A.I. Industry, Financial Economics Theory, The Global Economy & Currencies, Economics, Macroeconomics, Finance & Economics

A new working paper from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago looks at the real risk-free interest rate over the last 30 years, where it has been trending, and why that trend hasn’t had the consequences one might intuitively have predicted. The paper, Accounting for Macro-Finance Trends, is the workRead More


Altman: 30 Years of Distressed Debt Strategies

Nov 8th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, Hedge Fund Strategies, The A.I. Industry, Debt Types of Private Equity, Financial Economics Theory, Hedge Funds, Private Investments, Finance & Economics

In the late 1980s, the chairman of The Foothill Group approached Edward I. Altman, already then well known for the creation of the Z-score used for predicting bankruptcy. The chairman asked Altman to develop a descriptive and analytical white paper on distressed debt. He obliged, writing first a paper onRead More


50 Years of Put-Call Parity

Nov 1st, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, CAPM / Alpha Theory, The A.I. Industry, Financial Economics Theory, Finance & Economics

It will be 50 years ago next year (1969) that Hans R. Stoll came out with “The Relationship between Put and Call Option Prices,” establishing the principle of put-call parity. Stoll’s article in The Journal of Finance was a landmark in the developing scholarship about derivatives. It preceded the workRead More


The Trinity Of Errors In Financial Models: An Introductory Analysis

Oct 24th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, The A.I. Industry, Financial Economics Theory, Macroeconomics, Finance & Economics

By Deepak Kanungo, Founder and CEO of Hedged Capital LLC In this introductory article, we explore three types of errors inherent in all financial models. We examine these errors using a simple probabilistic model that can be used for predicting the federal funds rate, an interest rate of seminal importanceRead More


 Shariah Finance, Volatility, Clientele Effects

Oct 23rd, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, The A.I. Industry, Financial Economics Theory, The Global Economy & Currencies, Emerging markets, Frontier markets, Finance & Economics

Two recent scholarly papers take distinctive looks at the sukuk market in Malaysia. Accordingly, each contributes to the ongoing discussions and evaluations of the place of Islamic finance within the broader global (and alpha-seeking) picture. Sukuk are bond-like instruments structured to pay profit, not interest, that are sold chiefly toRead More


A Brief History of Asset Allocation

Oct 16th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, CAPM / Alpha Theory, Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Hedge Fund Strategies, The A.I. Industry, Financial Economics Theory, Risk management, Crowdfunding, Hedge Funds, Emerging Alternative Investments, Risk Metrics and Measurement, Business News, Risk Management Strategies & Processes, Finance & Economics, Other Topics in A.I.

Glassbridge has put out an ambitious white paper about the “evolution of asset allocation across the investment management industry,” one that begins with the basics of the Capital Asset Pricing Model and ends with quantitative analysis and crowdsourcing. The premise is that new strategies, and new ranges of data, areRead More


Peeling the Onion of Equity Hedge Fund Alpha

Oct 4th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, CAPM / Alpha Theory, Hedge Fund Strategies, The A.I. Industry, Equity Hedge Funds, Financial Economics Theory, Hedge Funds, Finance & Economics

The founder of CEO of MSR Indices, a Parsippany, N.J.-based index-investors consultancy, has authored a white paper on target volatility, also known as intertemporal risk parity. The gist of the paper is that: (1) equity hedge funds do secure alpha for their investors, obvious if one measures their performance againstRead More


Oil Trading and Round Number Effects

Sep 13th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, The A.I. Industry, Investing in Commodities, Financial Economics Theory, Behavioral finance, oil, Commodities, Commodities: Examples, Finance & Economics

The “round number effect” is an endless source of fascination in the worlds of both trading and statistics. Human brains, after all, tend to think in round numbers. A market pundit on television may say, “If the price of stock XYZ gets below $8.00, it’ll be worth buying.” He won’tRead More


What is Behind the Momentum Factor? Informed Trades?

Aug 5th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, CAPM / Alpha Theory, Financial Economics Theory, Finance & Economics

A new paper by four U.S. scholars makes a contribution to the literature on factors and the modeling of stock prices. The paper, “An Information Factor,” proposes in essence that the momentum factor isn’t what it seems to be. Ever since the publication of a 1993 paper by Jegadeesh andRead More


The Structure of the Securities Lending Market

Aug 2nd, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, Financial Economics Theory, Behavioral finance, The Global Economy & Currencies, Macroeconomics, Finance & Economics

An author affiliated with the National University of Singapore and one with Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany, have co-authored a paper on the structure of the securities lending market: specifically, on the fact that this market is an oligopoly, and on the implications that has for pricing. The general outlines areRead More


Centralized Exchanges and Cryptocurrencies

Jul 26th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, Currencies, Investing in Commodities, Financial Economics Theory, Emerging Alternative Investments, The Global Economy & Currencies, Digital currencies, Commodities, Finance & Economics

Cryptocurrencies are increasingly traded on centralized exchanges, such as Gemini and Coinbase. This fact itself has generated some resentment in the crypto world, because the very idea of  centralized exchange seems to violate the original anarchic animating spirit of the cryptocurrencies, even of “Satoshi” himself. Vitalik Buterin, who as the creatorRead More


A Counterintuitive Result on Bank Size and Too Big to Fail

Jul 22nd, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, Financial Economics Theory, Behavioral finance, Finance & Economics

Ten years ago, a series of bank failures rocked the financial and economic worlds. One of the immediate political consequences of those failures was the creation, by the US government, of a Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). This almost immediately morphed into a troubled equity relief program, because as TreasuryRead More


The Efficiency of the Markets in Crypto-Currencies

Jun 28th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, Currencies, Financial Economics Theory, Emerging Alternative Investments, The Global Economy & Currencies, Digital currencies, Finance & Economics

Three scholars affiliated with Johns Hopkins have evaluated cryptocurrency investing, in a new paper available at SSRN, and have concluded that “near-term cryptocurrency markets are semi-strong form efficient.” That bit of finance theorist jargon means that all publicly available information gets discounted quickly into an asset’s price, so that neitherRead More


The View from Amundi: Absolute Return and Factor Models

Jun 10th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, CAPM / Alpha Theory, Finance & Economics

On May 30, CAIA France sponsored a panel discussion on absolute return strategies, held at the headquarters of Amundi Asset Management, on the Boulevard Pasteur in Paris. Frederic Hoogveld, the head of investment specialists, index and smart beta for Amundi, spoke that evening on dynamic factor allocation. As a review:Read More


AQR Makes the Case for a VRP Strategy

Jun 5th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, Financial Economics Theory, Behavioral finance, Finance & Economics

AQR Capital Management, the Greenwich, CT-based global investment firm, has posted a new discussion of the volatility risk premium and of the advantages of strategies based thereon. In principle the premium would disappear if markets efficiently estimated the probability of significant losses. But it remains, because investors are risk averseRead More


Revising the ICAPM to Reflect Effects of Style Investing

May 1st, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, CAPM / Alpha Theory, Financial Economics Theory, Finance & Economics

A recent paper by Michael Stutzer, of the University of Colorado at Boulder, Leeds School of Business, suggests that the intertemporal version of the capital asset pricing model (ICAPM) needs some revision in light of the market dominance of style investors. A more full statement of that might be: itRead More


Funds Use Public Info to Complement Private Signals

Apr 12th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, CAPM / Alpha Theory, Equity Hedge Funds, Financial Economics Theory, Hedge Funds, Event-Driven Hedge Funds, Finance & Economics

Alan D. Crane and two colleagues have written a paper on whether and how hedge funds profit from publicly available information, in particular from SEC filings. Crane is an assistant professor at Houston’s Rice University, Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business. He and two Rice students, Kevin Crotty andRead More


Options-based Strategies and their Pay-offs

Apr 10th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, Financial Economics Theory, Behavioral finance, Risk Metrics and Measurement, Risk Management & Operations, Finance & Economics

Roberto Obregon, of the Meketa Investment Group, has written a paper (available at SSRN) on the use of options-based equity strategies. Obregon is the author of a number of scholarly papers on alternative strategies, including one last fall on global macro, which he co-authored with Willam Dana. In his optionsRead More


Bitcoin Futures ETFs: SEC Requests Comment

Apr 8th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, Currencies, Financial Economics Theory, Emerging Alternative Investments, The Global Economy & Currencies, Digital currencies, Finance & Economics, Other Topics in A.I.

In December last year the NYSE Arca Inc. filed a proposed rule change that would allow for the creation of Exchange Traded Funds investing in Bitcoin futures contracts, and, potentially, in other related Financial Instruments. In January 2018 the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission extended its review of this proposal.Read More


Finance Theory, Listed Equities, and Liquidity

Mar 29th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, CAPM / Alpha Theory, Financial Economics Theory, Finance & Economics

A recent paper from Robeco discusses whether a liquidity premium exists in the stock market. The authors, David Blitz, Jean-Paul van Brakel, and Milan Vidojevic, conclude that “the evidence for such a premium is, at best, weak.” Less politely, these authors refer to the whole notion of a liquidity premiumRead More


The Unrecognized Risks of Short Vol Strategies

Feb 25th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, Financial Economics Theory, Risk Metrics and Measurement, Risk Management & Operations, Finance & Economics

Vineer Bhansali and Lawrence Harris have written a scholarly paper on what they call the “extraordinary growth of short volatility strategies” since late 2010. A lot of people and institutions seem to have come to the conclusion that spiking volatility is just that. A “spike” on a chart is definitionallyRead More


S&P on Reading VIX

Feb 6th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, Financial Economics Theory, Finance & Economics

S&P Dow Jones Indices has put out a paper offering market participants without patience for “academic rigor” an accessible guide to the so-called “Fear Index,” the VIX, calculated from the prices of a specific basket of S&P options. The contributors to the paper are: Tim Edwards, S&P Global senior director,Read More


How Random is the Walk? Bond Market Empiricism

Jan 2nd, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, CAPM / Alpha Theory, Financial Economics Theory, Behavioral finance, Finance & Economics

A new paper, forthcoming in the Journal of Empirical Finance, looks at the corporate bond market, and looks specifically for behavioral biases. Although it finds some, it also finds that they are small, and can’t serve as the foundation for a profitable trading strategy. Though its route is roundabout, theRead More


Lazard Research on Smart Beta

Nov 5th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Due Diligence Process, Financial Economics Theory, Behavioral finance, Smart Beta, Risk Management & Operations, Finance & Economics, Other Topics in A.I.

Jason Williams, senior vice president at Lazard Asset Management, has written a white paper on the “six sins of smart beta.” First: what is smart beta? Academic studies indicate anomalies in the markets that somehow don’t get arbitraged away.  These become identified as “factors” and indexes can be designed soRead More


Aon: Alternative Risk Premia Viable for Many

Sep 17th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Alpha & Beta, Financial Economics Theory, Asset Allocation Models, Allocating to A.I., Finance & Economics

A new report from Aon discusses the contemporary market for alternative risk premia: where it is, how it got here; where it may be headed. The authors, Matthew Towsey and Chris Walvoord, begin with some very basic considerations of what ‘risk premia’ are. They are, on the one hand, theRead More


The Consequences of Auditing the Auditors

Sep 6th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Behavioral finance, Finance & Economics

Nemit Shroff, an associate professor of accounting at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management, has written a study of the consequences of auditing for the auditees. He has concluded that the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) “adds significant value to the financial reporting process,” with aRead More


Jacobs, Levy, and Markowitz on Portfolios

Aug 22nd, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, CAPM / Alpha Theory, Financial Economics Theory, Finance & Economics

Bruce Jacobs and Kenneth Levy, the founders and Chief Investment Officers of Jacobs Levy Equity Management, have brought out a new and considerably thickened edition of their classic collection of articles on equity investment. This second edition of Equity Management contains all 15 articles from the original, and 24 ofRead More


Networks, Modeling, and Funds of Funds

Aug 8th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, The A.I. Industry, Financial Economics Theory, Alternative Investments in Context, Finance & Economics

Two scholars affiliated with FERI Trust, a leading investment manager of the German-speaking countries of Europe, have written a study of hedge fund strategies that uses a “network-based analysis” thereof. The two authors, Eduard Baitinger and Thomas Maier, argue that hedge fund strategies show “numerous network-based properties” which help explainRead More


Evidence that Sovereign Wealth Funds Mitigate the Agency Problem

May 21st, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, CAPM / Alpha Theory, Financial Economics Theory, Finance & Economics

Ever since the 1930s, scholars have discussed the “agency problem” built into the structure of publicly owned corporations. This was a theme of Ronald Coase’s landmark article, “The nature of the firm” in 1937. Shareholders presumably want a company managed in a way that maximizes their – the shareholders’ –Read More


Hedge Funds and Sell-Side Analysts: Who is Tipping Off Whom?

May 7th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Financial Economics Theory, Risk Management Strategies & Processes, Risk Management & Operations, Finance & Economics

Nathan Swem, an economist with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, has written a paper on an always fascinating subject: the flow of information in financial markets. The point, in successful equity trading for example, isn’t merely “who you know?” Nor is it “what you know.” It’sRead More


Longevity Risk Transfer Markets: Limits to Growth

Apr 30th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Financial Economics Theory, Institutional Investing, Institutional Asset Management, Allocating to A.I., Finance & Economics

It was a fairly routine item about an accomplished executive changing jobs in the asset management industry, but it caught my eye. A March 2017 news item said that Andrew Reid, until recently the head of corporate pension origination at Deutsche Bank, had left that post to work with InsightRead More


The Free Lunch of Diversification: Still on the Menu

Mar 28th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, CAPM / Alpha Theory, Financial Economics Theory, Finance & Economics

Anthony Davidow, vice president, alternative beta and asset allocation strategist, Charles Schwab, offers a valuable re-examination of modern portfolio theory in an article for Investments & Wealth Monitor. Davidow begins at the beginning. Harry Markowitz called diversification “the only free lunch in finance.” The idea is that by diversifying, anRead More


The Low Volatility Anomaly: Gunpowder Inc.

Feb 26th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, CAPM / Alpha Theory, Financial Economics Theory, Hedge Funds, Structure of the Hedge Funds Industry, Finance & Economics

In a new paper David Blitz, the head of quantitative strategies for Robeco Asset Management, crunches numbers and reaches a surprising conclusion, precisely contrary to an intuitively appealing theory about the low volatility anomaly.  But … let’s begin from the beginning. Standard financial economic theory holds that investors are compensatedRead More


Why Do Alpha Seekers Find It In the Small Caps?

Feb 21st, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, Alpha & Beta, Financial Economics Theory, Allocating to A.I., Finance & Economics

The median performance of active fund managers with a small-cap mandate is uniformly better than the performance of their colleagues with a large cap mandate against their respective benchmarks. Fewer than 40% of large-cap managers outperform U.S. large-cap equity. More than 60% of their small-cap counterparts do so. The patternRead More


Earnings Releases & Social Media: Listening to the Crowd

Feb 16th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, CAPM / Alpha Theory, Financial Economics Theory, Finance & Economics

Earnings releases, and the “seasons” made up out of them, have become almost a comforting ritual in the investment world. The days leading up to a company’s release often incites a good deal of more or less well-informed guesswork. That guesswork may become significantly more informed through crowdsourcing. That isRead More


Active Share: Empirical and Conceptual Issues

Jan 17th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, CAPM / Alpha Theory, Financial Economics Theory, Finance & Economics

In 2009, Martijn Cremers, of the University of Notre Dame, and Antti Petajisto of New York University, introduced a new portfolio measurement they called Active Share, measuring in percentage terms the deviation of a portfolio from its benchmark (deviation in holdings, not in performance). Thus, a portfolio with 100% activeRead More


Funds of Funds and the Task of Financial Intermediation

Jan 12th, 2017 | Filed under: Newly Added, CAPM / Alpha Theory, Financial Economics Theory, Venture capital, Private Investments, Finance & Economics

Are funds of funds a valuable form of intermediation? Robert Harris, of the University of Virginia, Darden School of Business, and three other distinguished scholars looked at this question in a Darden Business School Working Paper, and they decided that, at least with regard specifically to the role of FOFsRead More


Rudin and Marr: A Reformulation of RP Methods of Portfolio Construction

Nov 24th, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, CAPM / Alpha Theory, Finance & Economics

A recent article by Alexander Rudin and William M. Marr, in The Journal of Alternative Investments, seeks to change the terms of discussion of the risk parity method of portfolio construction in a way that might remove some of the counter-intuitive consequences that can dog the approach. The paper, “InvestorRead More


Risk-Adjusted Time Series Momentum Strategies

Aug 21st, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Financial Economics Theory, Hedge Funds, Macro and Managed Futures Funds, Finance & Economics

The name is awkwardly long, and the standard abbreviation, “RAMOM,” sounds like what one says when cheering on one’s mother as she nears a finish line. Still, risk adjusted time series momentum strategies have something to be said for them, in comparison to cross-sectional momentum (MOM without preface), or evenRead More


New Support for a 40-Year-Old Theory about IPOs

Aug 18th, 2016 | Filed under: Newly Added, Financial Economics Theory, Finance & Economics

It is always aesthetically pleasing to see something elegant brought down from an attic, dusted off, and found to be of continuing value as part of the home’s furniture. Back in 1977, Edward Miller offered a hypothesis about the price move patterns distinctive to newly listed stocks.  In “Risk, Uncertainty,Read More