Resources

Japan’s Pension Fund Trips On Active Mgmt

ETF

Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) is the world’s biggest state investor, trumping all other managed government retirement and sovereign wealth funds. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s drive to spur the Japanese economy out of its two-decade-and-growing economic slump, known as Abenomics, has pushed the GPIF to plow more money into risky investments, aiming both to…

Published Results Impact Future Results

ETF

Financial research has uncovered many relationships between investment factors and stock returns. For investors, an important question is whether the publication of this research can impact the future size of factor premiums. Asking this question is crucial on two fronts. First, if anomalies are the result of behavioral errors, or even investor preferences, and the…

Trend-Following Strategies Work

ETF

As an investment style, trend-following, also referred to as time-series momentum, has existed for quite some time. Time-series momentum examines the trend of an asset with respect to its own past performance. This is different from cross-sectional momentum, which compares the performance of an asset with respect to the performance of another asset. Academic research…

Some Alternatives to Big Banks and Their Record-High Fees

Fees are at an all-time high at the nation’s big banks, while the interest they pay is at an all-time low. Worse yet, evidence recently has come to light of the criminal abuse of a practice common among large banks since the fall of Glass-Steagall: cross-selling. Cross-selling is rooted in consumer research that large financial institutions tend…

Checking In With The ‘Gurudex’

ETF

One of my favorite sayings about the market forecasts of so-called experts is from Jason Zweig, financial columnist for The Wall Street Journal: “Whenever some analyst seems to know what he’s talking about, remember that pigs will fly before he’ll ever release a full list of his past forecasts, including the bloopers.” You will almost…

On the Performance of Long-Serving Active Mutual Fund Managers

Given its importance to so many investors, it’s not surprising that there has been a tremendous amount of research into the performance of actively managed mutual funds. An overwhelming body of evidence has demonstrated that the vast majority of active funds underperform their appropriate risk-adjusted benchmarks, even before considering the impact of taxes. In addition,…

Diversification Is Key to Factor Investing

As my co-author, Andrew Berkin, and I explain in our forthcoming book, “Your Complete Guide to Factor-Based Investing,” no matter how strong the evidence regarding the persistence and pervasiveness of an investment factor’s return premium, there’s some chance that the factor will experience long periods of underperformance. You can see the evidence of this in…

‘Free Lunch’ Investing Takes Time To Cook

ETF

As the director of research for The BAM Alliance, I’ve been getting lots of calls recently from investors questioning their international equity investments. This hasn’t been a surprise, as any time an asset class does poorly, a significant number of investors will question why they own that asset. One particular inquiry I received addressed the…

Hedge Funds Fail Across Asset Classes

ETF

Hedge funds began this year coming off their seventh-straight year of trailing U.S. stocks (as measured by the S&P 500 Index) by significant margins. What’s more, for the 10-year period ending 2015 (one that included the worst bear market in the post-Depression era), the HFRX Global Hedge Fund Index managed to return just 0.1% a…

The Dangerous Education Gap

A large body of research on the behavior of individual investors has demonstrated that low levels of financial knowledge, in addition to biases in the selection and processing of information, drive suboptimal financial choices. Among the findings from the literature are: Men tend to be more financially literate than women, independent of country of residence,…

Investing in Consumer Loans Comes More Into Focus

Online peer-to-peer (P2P) lending is emerging as a provider of credit to individuals as well as small businesses, with the potential to benefit borrowers (by reducing the high cost of bank credit, credit card debt and payday loans) and lenders (by providing opportunities to earn higher yields). A significant hurdle for investors, however, is the…

How Your Own Biases Are Hurting Your Portfolio

You’re no fool. But let’s imagine for a second that a major public figure said something—something false—over and over (and over) again. Regardless of its questionable veracity, is there a chance you’d be more likely to believe the proclamation simply because you’ve heard it often and recently? Like it or not, the answer is an…

Is Momentum Really Dead?

ETF

Earlier this week, we examined a study that sought to determine whether the publication of academics’ findings on the momentum factor have led to a disappearing premium. To review, Steven Dolvin and Bryan Foltice, authors of the 2016 study “Where Has the Trend Gone? An Update on Momentum Returns in the U.S. Stock Market,” found…

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