Practical analysis for investment professionals

Martin Fridson, CFA

29 Posts

Biography

Martin Fridson, CFA, is, according to the New York Times, “one of Wall Street’s most thoughtful and perceptive analysts.” The Financial Management Association International named him its Financial Executive of the Year in 2002. In 2000, Fridson became the youngest person ever inducted into the Fixed Income Analysts Society Hall of Fame. He has been a guest lecturer at the graduate business schools of Babson, Columbia, Dartmouth, Duke, Fordham, Georgetown, Harvard, MIT, New York University, Notre Dame, Rutgers, and Wharton, as well as the Amsterdam Institute of Finance. Fridson's writings have been praised widely for their humor, rigor, and utility. He holds a BA in history from Harvard College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Author's Posts
Book Review: High Yield Debt

High Yield Debt succeeds as a concise and thorough primer on the speculative-grade debt market, including not only high-yield bonds but also leveraged loans and other related asset types. The author, who manages a credit hedge fund, presents sound conclusions on such controversial topics as the impact of exchange-traded funds on market volatility. The book is an invaluable resource for its target market of institutional decision makers.

Book Review: Your Complete Guide to Factor-Based Investing

Your Complete Guide to Factor-Based Investing is invaluable to practitioners who wish to design optimal portfolios. The authors define basic terms and discuss practical issues of implementation.

Book Review: Efficiently Inefficient

The author provides a thorough guide to the key trading strategies used by hedge funds and offers an overview of active management. He also explains such diverse approaches as quantitative, macro, dedicated short bias, and many more.

Book Review: The End of Accounting and the Path Forward for Investors and Managers

Drawing from a comprehensive empirical analysis, the authors demonstrate how financial reports have largely lost their relevance and present an actionable alternative for finance professionals.

Book Review: The Power and Independence of the Federal Reserve

In this fascinating study of the Federal Reserve System, Peter Conti-Brown shows that much of what investors know about the formulation and implementation of US monetary policy is wrong. He also demonstrates that much of the expert commentary in the media (e.g., regarding future interest rate actions) proceeds from false premises about the central bank’s internal dynamics. Although practitioners should not accept all of Conti-Brown’s conclusions uncritically, they can assuredly profit from his debunking of conventional wisdom about a key driver of the financial markets.

Book Review: The Index Revolution

Author Charles Ellis, CFA, contends that structural changes in the US market have eliminated the prospect of outperforming average market returns, after fees, through active management. The causes include the rise in institutional and high-speed machine trading and changes in regulation. Active management may still pay off in low-efficiency markets, such as high-yield bonds and emerging market debt. The book does not address findings that the most active stock pickers who take large but diversified positions unlike the index weightings beat their benchmarks.

Book Review: Better Bankers, Better Banks

Because they do not regard ethical failings in the financial industry as the actions of a few bad apples but, rather, as inevitable consequences of an unhealthy culture, the authors seek to restore the environment that existed before the major investment banks transformed themselves from partnerships into publicly traded corporations. The problems addressed in this book affect every participant in the financial system.

Book Review: Wall Street Wars

In its extensive recounting of financial misdeeds prior to the 1929 stock market crash, this fine work of popular financial history notes the parallels between recent events and the debates in the early 1930s over securities regulation and the subsequent enactment of landmark securities laws. Amid talk of the need to restore trust in the financial industry, the incidents recounted in the book suggest that restoration should apply only to firms that are worthy of trust and must come about through commitment to ethical practices, rather than public relations campaigns.

Book Review: Inside the Crystal Ball

This book is an invaluable resource for anyone striving for a command of the inner workings of the economy. The author details his impressively rigorous forecasting process, which draws on all major schools of macroeconomic thought. He also dives deep into the data to explain some of his expectations.

Book Review: Wall Street Research

The story of sell-side security analysis is still unfolding, but for an up-to-date account, this book serves the reader extremely well. The authors provide illuminating examples of recent innovations in the production and distribution of research and offer valuable insight by applying economic models in novel ways.



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