January 2012

Take 15: The “New Normal,” Cap-Weighted Indexing, and Passive Strategies in Europe and Asia

Lower expectations for economic growth and capital markets returns stem from increasing indebtedness and deficits, as well as from demographic trends in the “New Normal.” Jason Hsu discusses the implications for passive index strategies and cap-weighted index investing and talks about how asset owners and investing institutions view these issues in Europe and Asia. Read more

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Derivatives: The Anti-Money

Simulated Higgs boson (© CERN)

Researchers at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, in Geneva, Switzerland, made a splash recently with the “discovery” of the Higgs boson — a subatomic particle that creates a vital link between matter and anti-matter. For researchers at CFA Institute, the Higgs boson discovery is interesting because it parallels a great challenge facing the world of finance: derivatives. You see, in finance, derivatives contracts are kind of like the Higgs boson as they contain the vital link between money and anti-money. Read more


Write or Wrong: A Flat Market Doesn’t Mean Flat Returns

Write or Wrong

The world is flat, or so people thought, until enterprising Greek philosophers challenged the notion in the 6th century BC. More than 2,000 years later, Ferdinand Magellan made a practical demonstration of that fact when he circumnavigated the globe. Although stocks in 2011 sailed through periods of sunshine, wind, and rain, many equities markets ended up flat just the same. Nonetheless, some investors proved that it is possible to make money in this market — and they did so writing covered calls. Read more


Derivatives Roundup


As you are aware, the derivatives markets never sleep. There is always something going on. Following a year of turmoil concerning regulation and the use/misuse of derivatives, many stories from this rapidly growing segment of the investment industry warrant your attention. Read more

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Take 15: The Case for Investing in Africa

Clifford D. Mpare, CFA, discusses which African nations have the most improved macro environments and how these factors can support equity investments. Mr. Mpare also explores valuation of African equities including long-term trends, sectors of interest, and company case studies, as well as the importance of diversification. Read more


Felix Zulauf Revisits His Predictions, Sees More Trouble Ahead

Felix Zulauf at the 64th CFA Institute Annual Conference

Last May, at the 64th CFA Institute Annual Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland, veteran investor Felix Zulauf laid out a number of bearish predictions that have largely proved to be on the money. Now that six months have passed — and with so much happening in the world — we thought it was a good time to review his predictions and get a fresh update on his outlook for the economy and financial markets. Read more

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