Browsing: Featured Post

Featured Post

Illuminating Gender Differences in Entrepreneurship

Aug 16th, 2018 | Filed under: Angel investing, Debt Types of Private Equity, Equity Types of Private Equity, Newly Added, Other Issues in Private Investments, Private Investments, The A.I. Industry, Venture capital

Illuminate Ventures, an early-stage high-tech VC firm, has posted a paper by its founder and managing partner, Cindy Padnos, on “gender differences in entrepreneurship.” The paper begins with the observation that nearly half of the Illuminate portfolio companies have a woman as a co-founder. This doesn’t mean of course thatRead More


Agtech Investment and the Future of Food

Aug 14th, 2018 | Filed under: Agriculture, Angel investing, Equity Types of Private Equity, Farmland, Natural Resources and Land, Newly Added, Private Equity, Private Investments, Real Assets, The A.I. Industry, Venture capital

Finistere Ventures, a venture capital firm that describes itself as in the business of helping “ambitious founders transform food and agriculture,” has teamed up with Pitchbook to produce a dataset that would enable “clear insights into financing activity and metrics in the agtech sector.” The result was the Agtech InvestmentRead More


New SEC Commissioner Dissents on a Bitcoin ETF

Aug 9th, 2018 | Filed under: Commodities, Crowdfunding, Emerging Alternative Investments, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., Regulatory, Regulatory Environment, The A.I. Industry

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission recently (on July 26) disapproved of proposed rules changes that would have greenlit listing of the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust on the Bats BZX Exchange.  In essence, the SEC has now rejected the listing of a Bitcoin exchange-traded product (ETP) on a national exchange. TheRead More


European Private Equity Activity Increases in Q218

Aug 7th, 2018 | Filed under: Equity Types of Private Equity, Industry Size & Managers, Newly Added, Private Equity, Private Investments, The A.I. Industry

Pitchbook has a new report out about private equity activity in Europe. It indicates that, despite a slow start to the year, PE deal activity picked up notably in the second quarter. Across the continent there were 804 deals 2Q with a total valuation of  €88.5 billion. Deals above the Read More


What is Behind the Momentum Factor? Informed Trades?

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

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: Behavioral finance, Finance & Economics, Financial Economics Theory, Macroeconomics, Newly Added, The Global Economy & Currencies

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


Active Management, the Business Cycle, and the Silk Road

Jul 31st, 2018 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Alpha & Beta, Finance & Economics, Macroeconomics, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., Retail Investing, The Global Economy & Currencies

LPL Financial’s 2018 Forum Conference for investors took place in Boston this week, Sunday through Tuesday. This is an annual event that brings together thousands of advisors and program managers to discuss industry issues and new products. LPL is an independent broker-dealer headquartered in Boston, with offices in Fort Mill,Read More


Volatility Arbitrage and Cross-Border Options

Jul 29th, 2018 | Filed under: Alpha Strategies, Commodities, Hedge Fund Strategies, Hedge Funds, Investing in Commodities, Macro and Managed Futures Funds, Newly Added, Risk management, Risk Management & Operations, Risk Management Strategies & Processes

A new paper, by Adriano Tosi, of the University of Zurich, Switzerland, looks at the mispricing of a cross-section of international option returns, which suggests that there is money to be made (in more decorous language a “positive risk premium” may be “commanded,”) by selling exchange-traded products and buying theRead More


Centralized Exchanges and Cryptocurrencies

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

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: Behavioral finance, Finance & Economics, Financial Economics Theory, Newly Added

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


BarclayHedge Numbers Show Cryptocurrency Dive

Jul 19th, 2018 | Filed under: Commodities, CTA, Currencies, Digital currencies, Emerging Alternative Investments, Macro and Managed Futures Funds, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., The A.I. Industry, The Global Economy & Currencies

BarclayHedge says that its flash estimate for the Barclay CTA Index shows a 0.05% loss in June, and a 2% loss year to date. More remarkably, the flash estimate shows a 16.23% drop in June and a 45.43% drop YTD for the CryptoCurrency Traders Index. The founder and president ofRead More


Believe Your Eyes!

Jul 18th, 2018 | Filed under: Investor Relations, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., Sales & Marketing in the AI Industry

By Diane Harrison It’s simple human nature to believe more of what you see than what you hear. The human brain is wired to process visual information more easily than contextual words. According to a June 15 Washington Post article, “Charts Change Hearts And Minds Better Than Words Do,” chartsRead More


The Problem With Unicorns

Jul 17th, 2018 | Filed under: Debt Types of Private Equity, Equity Types of Private Equity, Newly Added, Other Issues in Private Investments, Private Equity, Private Investments, Venture capital

A new book by the Wall Street Journal’s John Carreyrou, Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup, works as a compelling test case in how the hunger for the next “unicorn,” a hunger that has been a feature in alternative investing for years now, can go badlyRead More


Using the Variance Risk Premium to Predict Futures Markets

Jul 15th, 2018 | Filed under: Commodities, Commodities, Commodities: Examples, Energy, Gold, Hard metals, Newly Added, oil, Risk management, Risk Management Strategies & Processes, Risk Metrics and Measurement

A new study of volatility in commodity prices indicates that both the total and the decomposed variance risk premiums of at least certain commodities markets contain information with predictive power. The variance risk premium is the pay-off of the synthetic variance swap contract. Specifically, it’s the difference between the floatingRead More


Neural Networks and EPS Prediction

Jul 12th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., Risk Management & Operations, Risk Management Strategies & Processes, Technology

Yes, it sounds a bit like the phrase “jumbo shrimp,” in terms of sense, but a “long short-term memory neural network” is an important recent advance in artificial intelligence research. The term refers to a neural network devised with “forget gates” attached to cells of memory, originally in order toRead More


Justice Anthony Kennedy and Securities Law

Jul 10th, 2018 | Filed under: Legislation/Court rulings, Newly Added, Regulatory, Regulatory Environment, The A.I. Industry

When Justice Kennedy announced that he is stepping down from the US Supreme Court, the profiles of his time on that bench said a good deal about abortion, homosexual rights, and other hot-button issues, but relatively little about Kennedy’s contribution to securities law. Yet it is worth remembering that heRead More


Asset Management in China: Expect Growth

Jul 8th, 2018 | Filed under: Asset Allocation Models, Consultants, Finance & Economics, High-net-worth investors, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added, What about beta?

A new study by Casey Quirk looks at asset management in China. It makes a bold claim: that by 2030, asset management strategies broadly defined will account for 10% of total Chinese wealth. That will be a more than doubling of the corresponding number at present: 4%. If China getsRead More


The Crypto ‘Bubble’ as Seen From Boston College

Jul 5th, 2018 | Filed under: Digital currencies, Emerging Alternative Investments, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., The Global Economy & Currencies

Two scholars affiliated with Boston College, Carroll School of Management, have published a study of initial coin offerings (ICOs), that has given a mixed verdict on the common contention that cryptocurrencies in general and ICOs in particular constitute a “bubble” akin to, say, 17th century tulips or the mortgage derivativesRead More


Ben Graham Conference at Fordham: Value Very Much Alive

Jul 2nd, 2018 | Filed under: Alternative Investments in Context, Newly Added, Risk Management & Operations, The A.I. Industry

The fifth Ben Graham Annual Conference, the marquee event of the CFA Society New York, took place as scheduled on June 27, at Fordham University, Lincoln Center. As its name suggests, this conference is intended to promote, and to share ideas about the application of, the investment principles of BenjaminRead More


Pension Funds, ‘Tilt,’ and Underperformance

Jul 1st, 2018 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Benchmarking & Performance Attribution, Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added, Performance, Analytics & Metrics

Christina Atanasova and Gilles Chemla have posted a discussion of pension plans,where holdings show a tilt toward private equity and real estate investments. Atanasova is associate professor of finance, Beedie School of Business,  Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC, Canada.  Chemia is professor of financial at Imperial College Business School, London,Read More


The Efficiency of the Markets in Crypto-Currencies

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

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


Stein’s Law and Rising Production Costs

Jun 26th, 2018 | Filed under: Business News, Commodities, Commodities, Insolvency, Investing in Commodities, Newly Added

Herbert Stein, who was President Richard Nixon’s chairman of the Counsel of Economic Advisors, is often quoted as saying, “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.” This statement, known as “Stein’s Law,” has the right ring of profundity about it, a mixture of tautology and empirically verifiable generalization.Read More


Eurekahedge: 2018 YTD Growth Positive but Unimpressive

Jun 24th, 2018 | Filed under: CTA, Equity Hedge Funds, Event-Driven Hedge Funds, Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Hedge Fund Strategies, Hedge Funds, Indexes, Industry Size & Managers, Macro and Managed Futures Funds, Newly Added, Relative Value Hedge Funds, The A.I. Industry

The newest Eurekahedge report says that total hedge fund assets have grown by $26.4 billion in the year to date (through May). The gain is the result of inflow, not of positive performance. Assets flowing in to the industry’s coffers YTD equal $30 billion, and one gets the net growthRead More


A Talk on the What and Whys of Cryptocurrencies

Jun 20th, 2018 | Filed under: Currencies, Digital currencies, Emerging Alternative Investments, Finance & Economics, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., The Global Economy & Currencies

The Battle of the Quants came to New York City on Wednesday, June 20, and the CAIA Association was one of its media sponsors. Much of the event involved cryptocurrencies, including an exchange between John D’Agostino (the global head of investor engagement at DMS Governance) and Nouriel Roubini, Chairman ofRead More


Three Drivers of Hedge Fund Consolidation

Jun 19th, 2018 | Filed under: Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Hedge Funds, Newly Added, Structure of the Hedge Funds Industry

A new report from Navigant Capital Advisors, a Chicago-based investment-banking service provider, says that hedge funds will soon catch a wave of industry consolidation, largely through mergers and acquisitions. Navigant offers both sell-side and buy-side advisory services and well as private placement transactions and related services. Its report, Hedge FundRead More


Blockchains: Hyped but Here to Stay

Jun 17th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, Operations, Risk Management & Operations

In a recent white paper, a trend analyst and a portfolio manager at Robeco put their heads together to look at the value of blockchains, or more formally of “distributed ledger technology,” in the financial world. Jeroen van Oerle (the analyst) and Patrick Iemmens (the manager) contend that there isRead More


What has private equity done for state pension funds lately?

Jun 14th, 2018 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Debt Types of Private Equity, Equity Types of Private Equity, Institutional Asset Management, Newly Added, Private Equity, Private Investments

Los Angeles-based Cliffwater LLC has recently updated a report it prepared a year ago on how state pension systems have fared by way of their investments in private equity. The report as updated finds that PE created on average a 10.7% annualized return across 21 state pensions over its 16-yearRead More


Africa Still Rising (but Patience May Be Required)

Jun 12th, 2018 | Filed under: Emerging Alternative Investments, Emerging markets, High-net-worth investors, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., Private Equity, Private Investments, The Global Economy & Currencies

The Emerging Markets Private Equity Association, in a new report, suggests that the “Africa Rising” narrative of a few years ago is behind us. Africa is seen still as having enormous potential. But the report also says, “the commodity downturn of the last several years has had a severe impactRead More


The View from Amundi: Absolute Return and Factor Models

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

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


Alternative Uses of the Fixed-Income Markets

Jun 7th, 2018 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Newly Added

Aviva Investors has prepared a research report on absolute return fixed income. The report, called “Building Resilience into Portfolios,” explains that the traditional use of fixed income in a portfolio is quite straightforward. That use generally involves a long position on debt of various sorts (sovereign, corporate, developed or emergingRead More


Manager Selection Through A ‘Welkian’ Lens

Jun 6th, 2018 | Filed under: Investor Relations, Newly Added, Sales & Marketing in the AI Industry

One of the most successful variety shows on television was the Lawrence Welk Show. Debuting in 1955, the show ran for 28 straight years, compiling 1065 episodes, then was picked up in syndication and continues running today on PBS. Combining musical skits and featured guest performers, the show established itselfRead More


AQR Makes the Case for a VRP Strategy

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

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


Crumbling infrastructure offers mid-market investment opportunities

Jun 3rd, 2018 | Filed under: Infrastructure, Newly Added, Operationally Intensive Real Assets, Real Assets, Socially responsible investing, SRI and Clean Energy

Deteriorating infrastructure and potential for investment is the topic of a new white paper by Fiera Capital, a Canadian investment management firm. Infrastructure is generally understood to involve physical assets that provide a public service, including those most vital to economic development. The category includes water and waste-water systems, highwaysRead More


Quants and Fundamentalists Unite!

May 31st, 2018 | Filed under: Algorithmic and high-frequency trading, Fees, Hedge Fund Industry Trends, Hedge Funds, Newly Added, Structure of the Hedge Funds Industry, The A.I. Industry

By standard definition, a “quantitative” investing strategy is one that selects securities using customized models, often algorithm-driven and thus on the operational level independent of human judgment. Again working from standard definitions, a “fundamental” investing strategy involves an examination of whether the entity issuing a security (corporation, sovereign, or other)Read More


Closing the Gender Gap in Alternative Investments

May 29th, 2018 | Filed under: Asset Managers, Industry Size & Managers, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I., The A.I. Industry

The Emerging Market Private Equity Association (EMPEA) has announced its first initiative aimed at closing the gender gap, which it calls its Gender Parity Acceleration Working Group. EMPEA has 300 member firms, including both general partners and limited parties, who are invested in more than 130 countries around the globeRead More


The Irrelevance of Dodd-Frank & Memories of the Crisis

May 28th, 2018 | Filed under: Credit Derivatives, Newly Added, Risk Management & Operations, Risk Management Strategies & Processes, Structured Credit Products, Structured Products

There has been some political excitement of late concerning the repeal of part of the Dodd-Frank statute, which was the great post-crisis reform bill that sought to remake the financial regulatory system in the United States. On Thursday, May 24, President Trump signed a bill that exempts dozens of banksRead More


Eurekahedge on Japan as an Investment Mandate

May 24th, 2018 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Institutional Asset Management, Institutional Investing, Macroeconomics, Newly Added, The Global Economy & Currencies

Eurekahedge has recently concluded its fifth annual survey of asset managers with mandates to invest in Japan. In the words of Eurekahedge chairman and CEO, Satoshi Iwanaga: “Survey results for 2018 suggest that central bank normalization is still a long way off in Japan, with investors continuing to reduce theirRead More


Greenwich Associates on Exchange-Listed Options

May 22nd, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, Risk management, Risk Management & Operations, Risk Management Strategies & Processes, Risk Metrics and Measurement

Greenwich Associates has produced research, commissioned by the Options Industry Council, about the way institutional investors understand exchange listed options. Greenwich concludes that underperforming institutions, including pension plans and endowments, “should be considering investments in options strategies as a means to improve risk-adjusted returns.” Institutions not currently doing so mayRead More


Private Debt and Impact Investors

May 20th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, Other Issues in Private Investments, Other Topics in A.I., Private Investments, Social investing, SRI and Clean Energy

A new study by the Symbiotics and GIIN research teams looks at private debt impact funds (PDIFs); that is, “independent investment vehicles that allocate on average more than 85% of their portfolios to private debt” and that look to the environmental and/or social impact their allocations will have.   The goalRead More


KPMG on Real Estate Funds

May 17th, 2018 | Filed under: Liquid and Fixed Income Real Estate, Newly Added, Real Assets, Real Estate, Real Estate Equity Investments, Risk Management & Operations

The outsourcing of fund administration tasks in real estate is not a new idea. But, as KPMG says in a new paper, the marketplace has been slow to take the administrators up on their offerings.  So it may still be the wave of the future even though it has aRead More


Operating Expenses, Strategies, and Scale

May 15th, 2018 | Filed under: Allocating to A.I., Benchmarking & Performance Attribution, Hedge Funds, Newly Added, Structure of the Hedge Funds Industry

Meketa Investment Group has issued a paper on the state of hedge fund operating expenses, the point of which is to offer actual and potential fund investors and their managers alike a benchmarking tool. By definition operating costs are those costs associated with day-to-day operations and the needs of anRead More


A Microfinance Fund for Central Java, Indonesia

May 13th, 2018 | Filed under: Digital currencies, Emerging Alternative Investments, Microfinance, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I.

Blossom Finance, an investment consultancy that describes its business model as “commercial financing with social benefits,” announced recently open enrollment for an Islamic microfinance fund designed to bolster micro-businesses and traditional market sellers in the province of Central Java, Indonesia. This will be a crypto-currency infused fund: participants can investRead More


Distressed Digital Exchanges as Buyout Targets

May 10th, 2018 | Filed under: Digital currencies, Emerging Alternative Investments, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I.

Tanzeel Akhtar has written a story for BraveNewCoin in which she discusses the availability of distressed digital exchanges as a means by which large companies can cheaply gain their own toeholds in the cryptocurrency world. Surely, risk arbs in the world of alternative investment will find this paper a valuableRead More


Crowdfunding in the Absence of Liquidity Constraints

May 8th, 2018 | Filed under: Crowdfunding, Emerging Alternative Investments, Newly Added, Other Topics in A.I.

A forthcoming issue of the Journal of the European Economic Association will carry a study arguing that crowdfunding in the absence of liquidity constraints is a superior method of equity financing–superior to “traditional financing forms,” that is, unless those traditional financiers are fully competitive and perfectly informed.  By one estimate,Read More


The CBOE and VIX: The Appearance of Manipulation

May 6th, 2018 | Filed under: Business News, Commodities, Finance & Economics, Newly Added

On April 23, 2018, the chairman and the president of the Chicago Board Options Exchange issued an open letter to address concerns that the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is subject to manipulation. There were at least two incitements behind this letter. First, its authors, Chairman Ed Tilly and President ChrisRead More


Thoughts on the European Regulation on Short Selling

May 3rd, 2018 | Filed under: Equity Hedge Funds, Hedge Fund Regulation, Hedge Funds, Newly Added, Regulatory, Regulatory Environment, The A.I. Industry

A new paper by Marco Dell’Erba and Giovanni Patti takes a look at a recent crisis involving the stock of the Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS), as a way of studying the pragmatics of the European Regulation on short selling (SSR). Dell’Urba is affiliated with the New York UniversityRead More


Revising the ICAPM to Reflect Effects of Style Investing

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

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


The Role Dividends Can Play in International Equity Investing

Apr 30th, 2018 | Filed under: Equity Hedge Funds, Hedge Funds, Newly Added

Summary Dividend yielding stocks can make a meaningful contribution to a portfolio in international markets as well as domestic. Higher returns are not always associated with higher risk. High dividend investing has been beneficial over most years and investment horizons. An emphasis on dividends appears to contribute across cycles, sectorsRead More


China-US Trade War and Other Worries

Apr 29th, 2018 | Filed under: Event-Driven Hedge Funds, Hedge Funds, Industry Size & Managers, Newly Added, The A.I. Industry

The Eurekahedge April 2018 report says that hedge funds were down in the first quarter of the year (-0.13%). This is the industry’s worst performance since Q1 2016. The steepest performance-based losses by regional mandate were those of the North American funds, they lost $1.2 billion. Meanwhile, asset inflows remainedRead More


WisdomTree on the Success of its Rate-Hedge Agg Suite

Apr 26th, 2018 | Filed under: Newly Added, Structured Credit Products, Structured Products

The path to higher rates has not been a smooth one, but interest rates in the United States are now higher than they have been since the global financial crisis and they may well become higher than they are now. What should traders or investors do about this? How toRead More